MLB LOOK AHEAD

Bumgarner aims to end Giants’ skid at home vs. Padres

Field Level Media

August 30, 2019 at 8:14 am.

Two teams tinkering with their lineups continue their battle for third place in the National League West on Friday night when the visiting San Diego Padres take on the San Francisco Giants.

The fourth-place Padres (62-71) gained a game on the third-place Giants (65-68) with a 5-3 win in the series opener Thursday, riding home runs by Manuel Margot and Austin Hedges to a big lead and seven strong innings from Chris Paddack.

Twenty-year-old Andres Munoz recorded his first career save as Padres manager Andy Green continued to keep one eye on his team’s future while playing out the 2019 string.

Green gave his infield a new look by giving rookie Ty France just his sixth start of the season at second base. Regular second baseman Luis Urias was moved to shortstop.

France went 0-for-3 in the game before leaving in the ninth inning in a double-switch. Urias singled and scored a run.

Green has let France know he will get a long look at second base the rest of the season, with his normal position, third base, occupied now and potentially for many years by Manny Machado.

“I embrace the opportunity,” France assured reporters before Thursday’s game. “I’m just trying to make the best of it. Every opportunity I get, I go to work.”

If France get another start Friday, he’ll get his first shot at Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (8-8, 3.71 ERA), who will seek to end San Francisco’s three-game losing streak.

Bumgarner has been on top of his game in his last 12 starts, going 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA.

The left-hander has faced the Padres three times this season, going 1-1 with one no-decision, to increase his career numbers against the California rival to 12-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 35 games (34 starts).

Bumgarner likely will throw to catcher Buster Posey, who found himself slotted fifth in the Giants’ batting order for the first time this season in Thursday’s loss. He went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, raising his average to .246.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy informed Posey before the game of the change in a face-to-face chat.

“He said, ‘If you think you need to move me, move me.’ It’s an unselfish group,” Bochy told reporters. “I haven’t had a guy come in yet asking or complaining. They’re willing to do what I believe is best for the team.”

Posey was a .319 hitter batting clean-up when he faced the Padres’ Dinelson Lamet (2-2, 4.30) in 2017. Posey went 1-for-4 with an RBI that day in a 5-2 loss.

It’s the only time Lamet has faced the Giants in his career. He limited San Francisco to two runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings in the win.

The 27-year-old will take the mound Friday riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, during which he’s gone 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA.

The teams have gone 3-3 so far this season in their San Francisco meetings.