The San Diego Padres hope to push the rival San Francisco game set tonight from AT&T Park.
The Padres will start an eight-game road trip Tuesday against the Giants, Diamondbacks and Dodgers, and have won four in a row after a sweep of the Florida Marlins at Petco Park. They completed the sweep with Sunday's 4-3 victory, as Will Venable singled home Nick Hundley for the game-winning run. Hundley led off the frame with a triple.
Venable also homered and Kyle Blanks drove in a pair of runs for the Padres, who are 12-6 in their last 18 games and went 5-2 on a seven-game homestand. Cory Luebke started for San Diego and allowed just one run in six innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Luebke retired the first 11 batters before Mike Stanton drove his 30th home run to left field.
"It takes a lot of pressure off knowing one swing of the bat is not going to do you in," Luebke said after his no-decision.
Heath Bell blew the save in 1 1/3 innings of work, giving up a game-tying homer to Mike Cameron in the ninth, but managed to record a win thanks to Venable's heroics in the bottom of the inning. Bell blew his fourth save of the season on a day the franchise retired former closer Trevor Hoffman's No. 51 in a pre-game ceremony.
Mat Latos is just 1-4 in his last nine starts and lost to the New York Mets in Wednesday's 7-3 setback at Petco Park. Latos allowed three runs and four hits in six innings of work, falling to 6-12 with a 3.83 ERA in 24 starts. Latos is just 3-5 in 11 road outings this season and 2-2 with a 2.60 ERA in seven career starts against the Giants.
Latos, a right-hander, did not figure into the decision of a 4-3 home loss to San Francisco on July 17, when he gave up three runs in seven innings.
San Francisco is one game behind suddenly-struggling Arizona for the top spot in the National League West Division and was able to end a three-game slide and salvage the finale of a three-game set at Houston with Sunday's 6-4 win in 11 innings. The D'Backs lost their sixth in a row Monday in Washington.
Pablo Sandoval's two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning was the difference, helping the defending World Series champion Giants to just their seventh victory in the previous 23 tries. Sandoval has hit safely in 14 of his last 17 games and is batting .343 in that stretch. Brandon Belt hit a three- run homer and finished with four hits for the Giants, who will begin a lengthy 12-game homestand tonight versus the Padres, Astros, Cubs and Diamondbacks.
"[Runzler] was all over the board. He had trouble getting the ball where he wanted," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Taking the mound for Bochy's ballclub tonight will be All-Star Matt Cain. Cain is 2-4 with a 2.31 earned run average in seven starts since the All-Star break and was able to end a personal three-game slide with Wednesday's 7-5 win at Atlanta. He gave up just one unearned run and five hits in eight innings to lift his record to 10-9 with a 2.86 ERA in 26 starts.
Cain, who has won at least 10 games in three straight seasons, owns a 5-5 mark in 12 home starts this season. The right-hander is 0-1 in two meetings with the Padres this season and just 5-10 with a 3.49 ERA in 25 career starts against them.
San Francisco is 6-4 against the Padres this season and took three of four meetings from July 14-17 at Petco Park. The Padres went 12-6 in the 2010 season series.