The San Francisco Giants will begin their first road trip without slugging outfielder Melky Cabrera when they invade Petco Park tonight to take on the San Diego Padres in the opener of a three-game series.
Cabrera, the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, was handed a 50-game suspension Wednesday after testing positive for testosterone.
"My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used," Cabrera said in a statement through the Major League Baseball Players Association. "I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down."
After receiving the sad news, the Giants dropped a 6-4 decision versus the Washington Nationals in the finale of a three-game set. Tim Lincecum reverted back to his losing ways and allowed four runs and eight hits in four innings.
"I was just battling through four innings, and they beat me to death with foul balls and balls in play," Lincecum said. "They kind of put it on me today."
Brandon Crawford drove in two runs and Gregor Blanco recorded two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who entered the game winners in eight of 12 games. The Giants are one-half game behind Los Angeles for the top spot in the National League West and will visit the Dodgers for three games next week.
Matt Cain will handle pitching duties for San Francisco tonight and he ended a four-start winless drought (0-2) his last time on the hill in a 9-3 win versus Colorado. He allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings to get back on track and is 11-5 with a 2.99 earned run average in 23 starts. Cain, a right-hander, defeated the Padres back in June and is only 6-11 with a 3.26 ERA in 29 career starts against them.
Cain is trying win 12 games for a fourth straight year and is 5-2 in 11 road assignments this season.
San Diego is back home for six games versus San Francisco and Pittsburgh, and went 3-4 on a seven-game road trip against the Pirates and Braves.
The Padres lost the last three matchups of a four-game series to Atlanta and suffered a 6-0 setback on Thursday. Jason Marquis was outdueled by Braves starter Kris Medlen, who tossed a five-hit shutout, and permitted all six runs and eight hits through 4 2/3 frames. Marquis was victimized by three home runs, two of which by Chipper Jones.
"He's been living off pitcher's mistakes for a long time," Marquis said of Jones. "That's why he's going to be a Hall of Famer."
Chase Headley had two of his team's five hits in defeat. The Padres have dropped four of five games since a six-game winning streak, but have prevailed in each of their last four home games.
On other news for San Diego, Major League Baseball owners approved the sale of the Padres to a group led by longtime San Diego businessman Ron Fowler. Fowler will be the controlling owner with partners that include pro golfer Phil Mickelson, a San Diego native, and family members of former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, including son Kevin and nephew Tom Seidler.
"I think it is great news. We haven't had a chance to meet any of the new owners yet but everything I've heard has been good," Headley said. "It's nice to have some stability and closure to this. I think it bodes well for the future."
Ross Ohlendorf gets the nod for the Friars tonight and he is 4-3 with a lofty 6.41 earned run average in 12 games (8 starts). He has lost three of four trips to the hill and previously faced the Pirates in an 11-5 setback on Sunday, when he lasted just three innings and surrendered seven runs -- six earned. Ohlendorf has given up 13 runs over the past three outings.
The right-hander is 2-0 at home this season and 0-0 with a 5.14 ERA in two career games, one of which was a start, against the Giants.
The Padres have lost six of nine matchups with San Francisco this season and went 6-12 in the season series a year ago.