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Bumgarner takes the hill for Giants against Padres

Tue 24th, July 2012

(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants have been one of the toughest teams in the majors at home this season. With Madison Bumgarner set to take the mound, the task the visiting San Diego Padres will face this evening appears even more daunting.

San Francisco improved to 30-16 at AT&T Park with a 7-1 triumph over the Padres in Monday's opener of this three-game series, tied with Texas for the second-best home winning percentage in the major leagues. The win was the fifth in a row for the Giants at home as well, and the current National League West leaders are now a sizzling 8-2 overall since the All-Star break.

The Giants set the tone early, scoring four times off San Diego's Clayton Richard in the bottom of the first inning. Buster Posey later put the game out of reach with a three-run homer in the fifth, helping back another solid performance from starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong.

Vogelsong yielded just one run and four hits while striking out six over seven innings of work, improving to 8-4 on the season and lowering his earned run average to 2.26, the third-best mark in the NL.

Posey also had an RBI single in San Francisco's big first inning and finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, giving the All-Star catcher a .545 average and 15 RBI over his last eight contests.

"He's been doing it all for us at the plate and behind the plate as always, handles this staff great," Vogelsong said of Posey.

Melky Cabrera and Ryan Theriot also went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for San Francisco, which maintained its 1 1/2-game advantage on Los Angeles for the NL West's top spot.

Richard surrendered all seven San Francisco runs and was reached for nine hits before exiting after five innings.

San Diego had won seven of its last eight road tests and five of its last six games overall prior to Monday's defeat, but has now dropped nine of its past 11 matchups at AT&T Park.

Success could be tough to come by again tonight, as Bumgarner has been usually terrific when pitching at his home venue this season. The talented left-hander owns a 7-1 record along with a spectacular 1.81 ERA in his eight AT&T Park assignments, and has permitted two runs or fewer in winning each of his last four starts there.

Bumgarner also leads the Giants staff with 11 victories in 2012, though he's coming off a hard-luck loss at Atlanta this past Thursday. The 22-year-old held the Braves to just three hits and struck out eight over seven innings, but was touched for three runs (2 earned) in a 3-2 setback.

The former first-round pick has won both of his previous starts against San Diego this season, including an Apr. 29 matchup at AT&T Park in which he fired 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball. For his career, Bumgarner is 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 10 meetings (9 starts) with the Padres.

Edinson Volquez will oppose Bumgarner this evening and enters off his best showing as a Padre, with the offseason acquistion tossing a one-hit shutout to best Houston last Thursday. It was his first victory since June 30 and lowered his season ERA to 3.34.

Volquez hasn't been quite as effective pitching away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park, however. In eight road starts this season, the right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.17 ERA, compared to a 2.84 mark in home games.

The 29-year-old will be facing the Giants for the first time this season and has gone 2-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four career starts against San Francisco.

The Giants took two of three bouts from the Padres in a series held in San Francisco in late April and are 5-2 against San Diego this season.

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