The Padres dropped the first game of this crucial four-game set and will now look to hold onto their divisional lead at Petco Park.

San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres

San Francisco moved within a game of the San Diego Padres after a 7-3 win in Thursday’s opener at Petco Park.  The Giants have a 3-9 record against the Padres this season, including a 2-4 mark at tonight’s venue.  “We’ve had some bad times against these guys, so winning the first one is big for us,” said last night’s starter Matt Cain.  Offensively, the team blasted four home runs in the spacious park, marking the first time in 61 games that San Francisco accomplished that feat.  With their seventh win in nine games, the Giants also moved within a game of Wild Card pacesetter Atlanta.  “They’re all important games…you just don’t want to put ‘do or die’ in any game,” manager Bruce Bochy stated.  The club is now 37-36 on the road this season (+300) and the total is 39-33 O/U in those contests.

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The NL West division is up for grabs as the top two contenders get ready to do battle at AT&T Park.

San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants

San Diego travels up to San Francisco leading the Giants by 2 1/2 games and are riding a four-game winning streak into this pivotal series.  “We’re feeling good about ourselves,” said pitcher Jon Garland.  “We can’t get a little overexcited.  We just need to go up there an continue to play good baseball.”  The Padres picked up their seventh sweep of the season in beating the Pirates in a three-game set and enter with the National League’s best record at 67-46 (+2,360).  New addition Ryan Ludwick has been leading the offense, hitting three home runs in his past four games, after hitting just .222 during his first 10 games with the club. The club is a solid 21-11 against left-handed starters this year (+1,190) and the total is 15-16 O/U in those contests.  San Diego has compiled a solid 8-4 record as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season (+520) and are 27-25 in this situation the last three years (+560).

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The Dodgers must have a successful series against the Padres to have any chance of getting back into the divisional race.

San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers

San Diego picked up an exciting 5-4 win over the Florida Marlins on Sunday in the series finale at Petco Park.  The Padres lead the division by 1.5 games over the second-place San Francisco Giants and their pitching staff leads the majors with a 3.25 ERA.  “We’re a confident group,” said infielder Jerry Hairston Jr.  “The last couple of days have been a little crazy.”  The club has the best road record in the National League at 28-20 (+1,440), joining the Giants and Reds as the only teams playing over .500 away from their home ball parks.  San Diego is an even 4-4 on the road when the total is 7 or less (+200) and the total is 2-5 O/U in those games.  The team has posted a 4-3 record over the last seven games due to limiting opponents to 3.1 runs per game and a .181 combined average.

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San Diego looks to push its record to a game above .500 this month and hold onto first place in the NL West.

Baltimore Orioles at San Diego Padres

Baltimore held a 2-1 lead on Friday night heading into the bottom of the ninth, only to see the Padres rally for a 3-2 victory behind 1B Adrian Gonzalez’s bases loaded single.  The club has converted just 47.8 percent of its save opportunities, the lowest percentage in the major leagues.  The Orioles have now lost 18 of their last 21 games, being outscored 127-50 over that span.  Friday’s loss also dropped the club to 2-8 in interleague play this year.  In facing a left-handed starter tonight, Baltimore’s offense will be paced by OF Nick Markakis, who leads all left-handed batters in baseball with a .375 batting average against them.  The club has been outscored 65-28 in their last 12 road games, as they are 8-37 in their last 45 games away from Camden Yards.

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