SAN DIEGO -- Home is where the heart is and where Jhoulys Chacin is an ace.
How else to explain his numbers at Petco Park as the Padres return home to face the San Francisco Giants on Monday night?
Chacin (11-9, 4.10 ERA) gets the start to christen the three-game series, and with that comes a smile from Padres manager Andy Green. The right-hander has a nifty 1.86 ERA at home, which is best in the majors.
And when rivals dig into the Petco Park batter's box, they produce a .182 average against Chachin. Only the Indians' Corey Kluber (.175) can trump that in his home park.
All that will be working in the Padres' favor as they look to extend their mastery over the Giants. Everyone is picking on San Francisco, which is anchored in the National League West cellar, and the Padres are no exception.
San Diego owns nine wins in the teams' past 13 meetings.
The Giants, though, are hoping to get a Chacin who was struggling with his command his last time out. Chacin plunked four batters in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. His off-kilter aim also produced three walks in a 4 2/3-inning stint in which he was charged with five runs (four earned) and six hits. It was his second consecutive losing decision.
Chacin was scratching his head over his control.
"That was really weird for me," he said after the game. "I've never hit that many batters. It's just that my ball was moving crazy, especially to righties.
"Overall, I just wasn't throwing strikes and I wasn't commanding my fastball. That's what's going to happen."
Green added, "It was a fight from the beginning. It just wasn't a clean outing for him."
While Chacin is comforted by being at home -- where he got his last win on Aug. 1 against the Minnesota Twins -- he knows something is amiss.
"The walks have been killing me," said Chacin, who is 8-6 with a 3.38 ERA in his 19 career appearances (18 starts) versus the Giants. "That's why I haven't been able to go more than five innings in my last three starts. That's something I need to figure out. I need to throw strikes, especially early in the game."
Chacin is 3-0 with a 3.04 ERA in four starts against San Francisco this season.
The Giants have struggled on the road, dropping 13 of their last 16, and that includes getting thumped by the Diamondbacks 11-0 as Arizona completed a three-game sweep on Sunday.
San Francisco owns a 3-16-2 mark in road series this year.
The Giants look to Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.67 ERA) to get the team out of its funk. He has a 7-3 record and a 4.02 ERA lifetime against the Padres, and he is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA in three starts against San Diego this year.
Samardzija left his last start with a lead, but the Giants' bullpen was unable to protect it. He was solid over six innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, but manager Bruce Bochy gave him the hook after 89 pitches. Samardzija gave up six hits and two runs (one run).
The right-hander threw an average of 110 pitches in his previous five starts, so the manager was mindful of the pitch count.
"I've worked him pretty hard," Bochy said. "I was really looking after him as much as anything."