GIANTS 91-68 ... One more win will do it.
San Diego 88-71 3 GB Must sweep series and win a playoff.
Giants defeated Arizona, 4-1, to sweep the three-game series.
San Diego lost to Chicago, 1-0, giving up the winning run in the ninth inning.
Giants open the three-game series with San Diego that will decide the NL West pennant. Tonight it will be Matt Cain looking to drive the Golden Spike, while Clayton Richard opposes. These two have faced each other three times already this season, with Richard winning twice. (The other game went into extra innings.) This will be Richard's sixth start of the season against San Francisco. While he hasn't made a bad start against the Giants yet, they probably know him as well as they know any pitcher in the league. The downside? He's a lefthander, and the Giants have struggled some against southpaws. Game time is 7:15 PM PDT (10:15 EDT) at AT&T Park.
Madison Bumgarner pitched five solid innings, and the Giants scored all their runs on homers. Buster Posey's two-run shot in gthe sixth, his 17th in 105 games, put the game away, and followed earlier bombs from Pablo Sandoval (13th) and Andres Torres (16th). Though the Giants totaled only six hits, three innings of scoreless relief from Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, and Ramon Ramirez made it all hold up.
Barry Zito is scheduled to start tomorrow, with two extra days' rest, and Jonathan Sanchez on Sunday. Tim Stauffer will face Zito, and Mat Latos is scheduled to oppose Sanchez. Now, if the Giants win it tonight, these assignments may change as Bruce Bochy rests his starters in anticipation of the postseason. As it stands now, the Giants could open the division series with Lincecum-Cain-Sanchez, all on sufficient rest... San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, their best player, is battling a bad shoulder and is 2 for his last 24... Pablo Sandoval launched one into McCovey Cove yesterday, and Bochy has indicated the 'Panda' will start against Richard. He sat out the last time the Giants faced the lefty... If the Padres manage to sweep this series, the tie-breaker playoff would be played at San Diego.