(Sports Network) - The bottom two teams in the National League West will meet
at Petco Park on Thursday, as the San Diego Padres open a four-game set with
the visiting San Francisco Giants.
The All-Star break cannot come soon enough for both clubs, as San Diego has
lost 11 of its last 12 games, while San Francisco has dropped 13 of 15.
Despite each team's massive struggles of late, they both still trail
division-leading Arizona by only 6 1/2 games.
The defending World Series champion Giants fell to 10 games under .500 for the
first time since 2008 following Wednesday's 7-2 home loss to the New York
Mets. The offense managed only three hits off Mets rookie starter Zack
Wheeler, who was drafted by the Giants in 2009 and traded to New York in 2011.
"It seems like everything is going wrong," said losing pitcher Matt Cain, who
exited after only two-thirds of an inning. "We're not pitching, we're not
fielding and we're not getting hits. This is a pretty bad skid and we need to
find a way out of it."
Meanwhile, San Diego is looking to rebound from Wednesday's 5-4 setback to the
Colorado Rockies. Padres starter Andrew Cashner went five innings and gave up
three runs (two earned) on eight hits.
"We've got to find a way to get over that little hump," third baseman Chase
Headley said. "We're never going to quit playing. That's what we've come to
expect from our guys. ... We are going to keep playing and give ourselves a
Despite watching his offense average a mere 2.6 runs over its last 12 games,
Padres manager Bud Black remains confident things will turn around for his
"The guys come in every day ready to play," the skipper said. "I don't see any
bad signs during our at-bats or giving at-bats away. I'm not seeing
fundamental plays not being made in the field."
For Thursday's series opener, Black will give the ball to Jason Marquis, who
is still seeking his 10th win of the season. In four starts since collecting
win No. 9, the veteran right-hander has gone 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA. In his last
outing, Marquis gave up three runs on eight hits and walked three against the
Nationals, although he came away with a no-decision after the bullpen
For San Francisco, Madison Bumgarner takes aim at his third win in as many
starts. The left-hander is coming off an impressive showing against the
Dodgers on Saturday, as he yielded only two runs on three hits in seven
innings. He also notched nine strikeouts to win for the fifth time in his last
The Giants took two of three from the Padres when these teams last met June
17-19, although that was the last time San Francisco won a series.
The Sports Network