Giants-Padres Preview

The Associated Press

Playing well on the road is a big reason the San Francisco Giants are headed to the postseason.

Finishing up the regular season away from home, the NL West champion Giants hope to continue their recent success in San Diego on Friday against the Padres.

With the worst record of the NL division leaders, San Francisco (91-65) appears likely to open the postseason on the road. That might not be a problem for the Giants, who are 43-32 away from AT&T Park, winning 23 of their last 31.

San Francisco is 10-5 against San Diego (74-82) this season and has won 14 of 21 at Petco Park since last losing a series there April 19-21, 2010.

The Giants concluded the home portion of their regular-season schedule with a 7-3 win over Arizona on Thursday. Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence each hit two-run homers as San Francisco won for the 12th time in 15 games.

That victory came hours after the team announced suspended star Melky Cabrera would not be brought back at all during the postseason. The All-Star Game MVP's suspension for a positive testosterone test covers the final 45 regular-season games and five in the playoffs if the Giants are still alive.

"We have decided to develop our roster from our current group of players," manager Bruce Bochy said. "They've done a terrific job during the critical part of the season. I just like the way this club has played down the stretch and moved on."

Scutaro and Pence have certainly contributed, combining for 80 RBIs since they were acquired by the Giants in late July. In the midst of a 15-game hitting streak, Scutaro is batting .437 with 19 RBIs in his last 21 contests. Pence is 7 for 17 with five RBIs in his last six games versus San Diego.

Teammate Buster Posey is batting an NL-leading .333, and .368 (14 for 38) with three homers and 11 RBIs in his last nine at Petco.

Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong (13-9, 3.58 ERA) is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against the Padres at home this season, but allowed three runs and eight hits while throwing 96 pitches in three innings of a 7-1 loss at San Diego on Aug. 19.

That outing at Petco was part of a seven-start stretch in which Vogelsong went 2-4 with a 10.31 ERA, but he's hoping to be back on track after facing San Diego at home on Friday. The right-hander held the Padres to a Chase Headley homer and four other hits over six innings of a 5-1 win.

"I'd been trying to tweak some stuff here for a while," Vogelsong said. "I finally found something that felt comfortable and easy to repeat."

Headley's homer is his only hit in six at-bats versus Vogelsong. However, the San Diego third baseman is batting .333 (8 for 24) with seven RBIs at home against the Giants in 2012.

Though the Padres fell 8-4 to Los Angeles on Thursday for their sixth loss in nine games, they are 40-29 since the All-Star break.

"I think the biggest thing to be proud of is the way we have fought back to where we are now," manager Bud Black told

Rookie left-hander Andrew Werner (2-2, 4.64) will face the Giants for a second straight start after he allowed five runs and walked three in 3 2-3 innings of an 8-4 loss on Saturday.

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