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Preview: Padres (67-74) at Giants (72-68)
Venue: AT&T Park
Date: September 11, 2015 10:15 PM EDT
The San Francisco Giants’ postseason window may already be shut. At least their minuscule chance to pry it open comes mostly at home.
The Giants close what has been a dismal end of the season with a surplus of games at AT&T Park, beginning with Friday night’s series opener against the San Diego Padres.
San Francisco (72-68) suffered through a 3-7 road trip to fall 8 1/2 games back of NL West-leading Los Angeles. Its wild-card chances look just as bleak, trailing Chicago by nine games with 22 to play.
The Giants do have 16 games left at AT&T Park, where they are 38-27 and have won 16 of 21.
Injuries, though, continue to bite into San Francisco’s late-season push.
Outfielders Hunter Pence, Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan have spent time on the disabled list in the last month, while pitchers Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson have been there at some point since early July.
Most recently, Joe Panik came off the DL on Monday only to tweak his lower back in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Arizona, and Brandon Crawford missed the series finale with a calf injury that could keep him out longer.
Pence has had three stints on the DL, and his absence has been most profound for the Giants, who are 34-18 with and 38-50 without their right fielder. They sat three games back of the Dodgers when Pence went down with a strained oblique Aug. 17, and it is unclear if he will return.
“I think I’m going to play again this season, but I don’t know when,” Pence told MLB’s official website. “I’m progressing. I’m giving it my best. I’m just doing everything I can to get back as soon as I can.”
San Francisco could use him. The Giants rank toward the bottom of the majors with 3.41 runs per game during an 8-14 stretch with Pence out of the lineup.
Peavy (5-6, 4.41 ERA) battled his own back injury through the first four months, but he will be on the mound to face his former team.
Peavy looks for his first win against the Padres (67-74), whom he pitched for from 2002-09. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in two matchups, including a 6-4 loss April 12 in which he allowed four runs in four innings.
Peavy picked up a win to end San Francisco’s seven-game skid Saturday, holding Colorado to three runs in 5 2-3 innings.
While Peavy has fared well at home with a 3-2 record and 3.89 ERA, San Diego starter Andrew Cashner (5-14, 4.11) has been poor on the road.
Cashner is 2-7 with a 4.55 ERA away from Petco Park, going 0-4 with a 5.37 ERA in his last nine. The right-hander lost 6-0 in San Francisco on May 5, allowing six runs – four earned – in six innings.
Cashner is 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA in six starts against the Giants.
Matt Kemp has homered in three of four games for San Diego, which split four against Colorado after Thursday’s 4-3 loss. Kemp has reached base in a career-high 30 straight games, a span in which he’s hit .331 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs.
“This guy comes to play every day,” manager Pat Murphy told MLB’s official website. “Most every win we’ve had, Matt Kemp has played a role.”