The San Francisco Giants made quite a statement in their series opener with the San Diego Padres.
The new NL West leaders hope to build on an impressive offensive showing and avoid a letdown in the middle game of their set at Petco Park on Saturday night.
The 50-game suspension for Melky Cabrera following a positive test for testosterone isn't going to make things easy for the Giants (65-54) in their quest for a playoff berth. They showed they still have plenty of punch, though, beating the Padres 10-1 on Friday to move one-half game ahead of Los Angeles in the division.
"It's important that you are resilient in this game,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "With what has happened, it was important that we come out and play well, and the fellas did. We have to move on and that's what the guys are doing.''
Marco Scutaro homered and drove in two runs and Angel Pagan had three hits and two RBIs to lead San Francisco's 15-hit outburst. All nine starters had at least one hit as the Giants scored their most runs in their 78-game history at Petco Park.
San Francisco has won 13 of 18 in San Diego and 18 of 24 overall against the Padres. Buster Posey, who doubled and scored two runs Friday, is batting .314 with 10 RBIs and seven runs in nine games versus San Diego this year.
San Francisco, which understandably had trouble in the first game of Cabrera's suspension losing to Washington's Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday, erupted for eight runs in the third inning as it roughed up Ross Ohlendorf, who came in with a 1.93 ERA in three starts at Petco.
The Giants now look to make things tough on Eric Stults (3-2, 2.45 ERA), who has been solid in his two starts since returning to the rotation.
After throwing 5 1-3 innings in a 2-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 6, Stults allowed a run and five hits without a walk in 7 2-3 innings in Monday's 4-1 victory in Atlanta. It was the left-hander's longest start since he threw a four-hitter in an 8-0 win over the Giants on May 9, 2009, while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. That was also his last start against San Francisco.
The Padres (52-69) could only muster four hits Friday against Matt Cain, and have been outscored 28-2 during a four-game skid.
"You're going to have stretches like this,'' San Diego manager Bud Black said. "But you have to realize these things happen over the course of a season.''
Chase Headley is 3 for 14 with five strikeouts during the losing streak after batting .355 with five homers and 15 RBIs in his previous eight games with San Diego winning seven. He is 1 for 8 against scheduled starter Barry Zito (9-8, 4.29) since 2010, but the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner hasn't enjoyed much success in this series lately.
Zito allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-6 victory over Colorado on Sunday, but left without a decision. The lefty is 1-2 with a 7.06 ERA in his last four starts after going 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his previous five.
Zito is 1-7 with a 6.05 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Padres. Although he has struggled in many of those games, he hasn't got much help from his offense, either, receiving 12 total runs of support - two or fewer in each.