Padres ride momentum into series finale with Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Diego Padres looks to win their second road series of the season while the San Francisco Giants seek their second anywhere when the clubs duel in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday.
The Padres, who are the losingest road team in the majors at 5-12, rebounded from a 4-3 defeat Friday and a 3-1 deficit Saturday to even the series at a win apiece on the strength of an eight-run sixth inning.
The win was the Padres’ second in 10 road games since they capped a 2-1 series win at Colorado on April 12.
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Left-hander Clayton Richard (2-3) authored one of the Padres’ five road wins in impressive fashion in the season-opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He shut out the Dodgers on five hits over eight innings in a 4-0 victory.
He has since allowed 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings in two road starts, but pitched a 6-4 win over the Giants in San Francisco last September despite giving up 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Richard is 6-6 with a 4.01 ERA in 18 career meetings (15 starts) against the Giants.
Hoping to continue a trend of alternating wins and losses on its homestand, San Francisco counters with left-hander Ty Blach.
The second-year Giant pitched well in his first start of the season Tuesday against the Dodgers, but had the unfortunate task of having been matched up with Clayton Kershaw.
Blach took the loss in a 2-1 defeat despite allowing only two runs and four hits in five innings.
The Giants went on to split their four-game series against the Dodgers, their fourth consecutive non-winning series since beating Arizona two of three at home April 10-12.
Blach will have to deal with Padres first baseman Wil Myers, who is coming off a three-hit game in which he crushed a three-run homer to highlight a 12-4 victory.
The season-high 12 runs were the most the Padres scored at AT&T Park.
The bayside ballpark also rarely sees a home run hit as far as Myers’ traveled Saturday night.
“That’s my best bullet,” he proudly boasted of the blast, his sixth homer of the season. “When you belt one like that, you want to see where it ends up. I’m happy to say I got all of it.”
The home run came off rarely used Giants long reliever Chris Stratton, who was making his second appearance in Blach’s old role as long reliever.
The Padres also teed off on Giants right-hander Neil Ramirez, who like Stratton was called upon in a close game because San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy wanted to give some of his key relievers, including closer Mark Melancon, a break after a series of tense games.
“We were trying to give some guys the day off,” Bochy explained. “It’s tough when your two guys you look at to give you length, they both struggled.”