Complete coverage of the 2014 season

Series Preview: Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Padres have to be kicking themselves after squandering a golden opportunity to win a series against a division rival this week. Instead, they settled for a four-game split with the Colorado Rockies. It was the same story from the start of the season as the Friars’ bats failed to show – scoring just three runs combined in the two losses.

    Now another NL West foe comes to town for the first time this season as the San Francisco Giants hit Petco for a three-game weekend set. The Giants took two out of three against the Dodgers to pull into a tie for first place with Los Angeles. The Padres are three games back.

    When they play: The series opener is tonight at 7:10 p.m., followed by a 5:40 tilt on Saturday and a 1:10 p.m. start on Easter Sunday.

    What’s at stake: The Giants look to keep pace with the Dodgers and win their third straight series in the division. For the Padres, just scoring some runs would be great. Even better would be a series win. They’ve only won one of those all season.

    Who is pitching: The Friars send out the bottom of their rotation, with Tyson Ross (1-2, 3.12 ERA) looking to build on his first win of the season tonight. Eric Stults (0-2, 5.52) takes the mound tomorrow, followed by youngster Robbie Erlin (1-1, 3.18) on Sunday.

    The Giants counter with Matt Cain (0-2, 4.00) tonight, who will try to break a two-game losing streak. Tim Hudson (2-0, 2.35) takes the hill Saturday followed by Tim Lincecum (0-1, 7.20)

    Who to watch: Will leadoff man Everth Cabrera ever stop hitting? Will anyone else in the Padres’ lineup start hitting? The shortstop now has a 10-game hitting streak and is up to .333 on the year. After that, no regular in the Friars’ lineup is over the .300 mark. Jedd Gyorko and Chase Headley are both under .200 and have scored a combined six runs all season.

    Poor Xavier Nady leads the team with three home runs. Unfortunately, he also has three RBIs on the season. Somebody get on base!

    For the Giants, Angel Pagan has done his best Cabrera impressing, picking up a hit in eight of his last nine starts. Brandon Belt has cooled off after hitting three homers in the first week of the season. He still leads the team with five long balls.

    All-Star catcher Buster Posey has been unseasonably cold lately, with just one hit in the last five games. Pablo Sandoval, aka the Kung Fu Panda, has been just plain cold, hitting just a buck-seventy-five this season.

    Why go: Get your Jedd Gyorko replica jersey on Saturday night. With the way he’s been hitting, maybe you could hop on in the lineup while you’re at it (we kid, Jedd). You can also get a Padres pet bandana that night. Sunday is the usual kids and military festivities.

    What’s next: The Padres hit the road for a 10-game trip starting Monday, playing the Brewers, Nationals and Giants again. They’ll be back home May 2, when the Diamondbacks come to town.

    Matthew Wood covers the Padres for #OnFriar. Reach him at matthew.wood@nbcuni.com and follow him on Twitter @mcarloswood.

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