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09/04 Padres Preview: Game 139 vs. San Francisco

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

This afternoon the Padres and Giants will close out their series at Petco Park. San Diego will try to remain in sole possession of fourth place in the NL West by completing the sweep over San Francisco.

Padres pitching has been fantastic these past few games, and today Eric Stults will try to keep that trend going while putting an end to his winless stretch since the All-Star Break. The lefty is 0-5 with a 4.91 ERA in his last eight starts. His last time out, against the Dodgers, he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. Stults has been much better at home, however, posting a 1.91 ERA over his last 11 starts at Petco Park while going 5-2 and keeping batters to a .206 average in that stretch. He is also 1-0 in his last two versus the Giants, most recently limiting them to just one run in six innings of work against them back in July. Stults may have trouble keeping Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey off the bases, though. The former is batting .529 (9-for-17) all-time while the latter is a career .467 (7-for-15) hitter against the veteran southpaw.

Taking the mound for the Giants to try to prevent the sweep today will be Tim Lincecum. The last time Lincecum faced San Diego, back in July, he threw the first no-hitter in Petco Park history. The right-hander struck out 13 batters while throwing a career-high 148 pitches against the Padres. After that game, however, Lincecum went 1-4 in six starts while posting a 5.40 ERA. But he comes into today's matchup having won consecutive starts for the first time all year. His last time out, he kept the Diamondbacks scoreless for six innings leading up to a 1-0 victory for SF. He is a lifetime 12-6 against the Padres, including a 2-1 record with a 0.79 ERA in three starts against them this season.

Tune in a 3:40 this afternoon to see if the Padres can complete the sweep and avoid going back into a tie for last place in the NL West.