The San Diego Padres would prefer not to see the names of Darin Ruf and Mike Yastrzemski in the lineup card when they conclude their three-game series with the Giants in San Francisco on Sunday.
While the Padres held them in check — a combined 1 for 7 — on Saturday in a 2-1 win, Ruf and Yastrzemski have tormented the Padres in their careers.
Ruf hit two home runs against the Padres on Friday night in an 8-7 loss. The 35-year-old has five homers and 12 RBIs in just 77 career at-bats against the National League West rival.
The 31-year-old Yastrzemski has been an even bigger thorn in the Padres’ side. He is 38-for-116 (.328) lifetime against the Padres with 10 doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 20 RBIs and 23 runs scored in 41 games against San Diego.
“We count on them for production,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
With Buster Posey gone, Yastrzemski and Ruf are the Giants’ two biggest threats to the Padres — meaning the pair had better get back into their groove against San Diego if the Giants hope to avoid being swept in the three-games series.
The Padres will send rookie MacKenzie Gore (2-1, 2.17 ERA) to the mound Sunday afternoon against Alex Wood (3-2, 3.93) in a match of left-handers.
Gore, 23, the Padres’ first-round pick in the 2017 draft, will face the Giants for the first time. He is coming off his first relief appearance in the majors in a piggyback role to Mike Clevinger last Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
After Clevinger allowed one hit over five shutout innings, Gore allowed no runs on three hits with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings.
In 29 innings over six appearances, Gore has allowed seven runs on 26 hits and nine walks with 32 strikeouts for a 1.207 WHIP with 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings and a .241 opponents’ batting average.
Why is Gore starting Sunday over Clevinger?
“We’re trying to be careful with Clevinger,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “Gore threw fewer pitches in Philadelphia, so we thought we’d give Clevinger an extra day. Down the road, it could be different as we control Gore’s innings.”
Meantime, Wood will make his eighth start of the season and his second against the Padres.
On April 11 in San Francisco, Wood gave up two runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings against the Padres. The hits included a home run by Austin Nola. He had a no-decision in the 4-2 loss.
Wood is 4-2 lifetime against the Padres with a 2.93 ERA in 17 appearances (11 starts). He has given the Padres 25 runs (23 earned) on 61 hits and 19 walks with 75 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings.
Meanwhile, the Padres enter the finale of a nine-game trip with a 6-2 record that includes two one-run wins and two shutout wins in which the Padres scored a total of five runs.
“The more you come through and win games like this, the more you expect to,” Melvin said. “We’ve been playing games like this all season. Your expectation level is high. You get in games like this, and you expect to win.”
–Field Level Media