Cardinals-Giants Preview

Red hot at home, the San Francisco Giants are getting unexpected production from rookie Kelby Tomlinson.

After coming through in the clutch, Tomlinson looks to continue his offensive surge as the Giants face the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

San Francisco (69-59) has won 16 of 19 at AT&T Park, a big reason why they're 2 1/2 games back of NL West-leading Los Angeles.

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Tomlinson is another.

The second baseman is batting .364 with 12 RBIs in 21 games since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento. He's started 14 of those contests at second base in place of Joe Panik, who's on the disabled list with a back injury.

"He just seems comfortable here," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's hit everywhere he's gone, Double-A, Triple-A and he's continuing to do that."

Tomlinson wasn't fazed in a big spot Friday, delivering a walkoff single in a 5-4 win over St. Louis (82-46). That came a day after he hit a grand slam for his first career home run in a 9-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Marlon Byrd has also homered in the last two games, hitting a grand slam of his own Friday to give San Francisco a franchise-record eight on the season.

''This one's a lot bigger,'' Byrd said. ''It's a pennant race and the Dodgers already won. We needed this win tonight to stay on pace.''

Ryan Vogelsong (9-9, 4.05 ERA) starts against the Cardinals for the second time in less than two weeks. The right-hander held them to two hits in six innings of a 2-0 win at St. Louis on Aug. 18.

Control issues, however, led to one of his shortest outings of the season Sunday. Vogelsong threw 77 pitches in 3 1-3 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits with four walks in a 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh.

He's 3-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 11 home games - eight starts. However, Vogelsong has gone 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA in his last three home starts against the Cardinals, including playoffs.

St. Louis has a hot-hitting rookie of its own in Stephen Piscotty, who's batting .322 with 22 RBIs in 34 games since being called up from Triple-A Memphis. He's 6 for 16 with three extra-base hits and as many RBIs in four games against the Giants after hitting a two-run double and a single Friday.

The Cardinals, who lead the NL Central by 3 1/2 games over Pittsburgh, are turning to Lance Lynn (10-8, 2.94). The right-hander has gone 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings over his last three road starts.

Lynn battled through six innings Monday, yielding two runs and nine hits while inducing a career-best four double plays - two with the bases loaded.

"He made great pitches in tough situations," manager Mike Matheny said. "He had that extra movement when he needed it."

Lynn is 0-5 with a 5.50 ERA in seven career starts against the Giants, including postseason.