As Tuesday night's game neared the end, the San Francisco Giants extended their lead in the NL West with a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres thanks to a Brandon Crawford RBI single in the ninth inning. Winners of nine of their past 11 games, the Giants have been excellent since the All-Star break and go for a three-game sweep in the Wednesday afternoon series finale.
Since ending his horrible first half of the season, Tim Lincecum has been pitching like a star. With a 2.57 ERA and 13 strikeouts in two starts against the Padres this season, he has been building his consistency back thanks to better command on his fastball. Starting for the Padres is Jason Marquis, who gave up two earned runs and lost on June 7 in his first start for San Diego.
While a sweep is very possible given the pitching matchup and the solid hitting, the Giants path to the NL West crown became tougher due to a trade late Tuesday night that sends Miami Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Expected to cover for the injured Dee Gordon at shortstop and serve as another top bat in their lineup, the addition of Ramirez could be huge for the Dodgers if he produces like he did in 2009 when he won the National League batting title. In the many future matchups to come with the Dodgers, particularly in their next home series this weekend, the Giants will get their first taste of what Ramirez could do in "Dodger Blue," potentially affecting their plans at the trade deadline.
Giants lead season series 6-2.
San Diego comes into the matchup with a 41-58 record and in fourth place in the National League West. They are 19-29 when playing on the road and have won six of their last 10 games.
San Francisco enters the game with a 55-42 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 31-16 when playing at home and have won eight of their last 10 games.
Starting pitcher matchup:
San Diego: Jason Marquis
2012 season: 5-9, 5.58 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 60 Ks
Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 2-4, 3.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 35 Ks
San Francisco: Tim Lincecum
2012 season: 4-10, 5.72 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 121 Ks
Numbers vs. Padres in last five years: 9-4, 1.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 137 Ks
Where to watch and listen to the game:
The game can be watched live locally at the following:
In San Diego: FSSD and XPRS 1090
In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD and KNBR 680
Batting statistic leaders:
San Diego: Chase Headley - .268 batting average, Chase Headley - 11 home runs, Chase Headley - 50 runs batted in.
San Francisco: Melky Cabrera - .359 batting average, Buster Posey - 13 home runs, Buster Posey - 60 runs batted in.
Next series on tap:
Following this series, the Padres will visit the Miami Marlins from July 27-29 and visit the Cincinnati Reds from July 30-August 2.
Meanwhile, the Giants' next two series will be at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers from July 27-29 and at home against the New York Mets from July 30-August 2.
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