The Padres and Giants are looking to break the last-place tie Tuesday night at Petco Park.
It's highly unlikely San Francisco (61-76) will be defending its World Series crown next month, and San Diego (61-76) is all but assured of falling short of the playoffs for a seventh straight year.
They share last place in the division after the Padres took the opener of this three-game set 4-1 on Monday. San Diego won despite mustering four hits, but Ronny Cedeno and Chris Denorfia had two-out singles that produced a three-run second inning.
Going 2 for 4 with runners in scoring position was a welcome change for the Padres after they were 4 for 23 (.174) during a three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.
"That was big," manager Bud Black told the team's official website of Denorfia's two-run single. "There's the time to get the big hit that has been eluding us lately, the real big hit to stretch a lead or take a lead. That's a little bit of what happened to us up at Dodger Stadium: We couldn't get that big hit."
Madison Bumgarner (11-9, 2.91 ERA) may sympathize with the Padres, as he's hopes for some help from the Giants in order to win for the first time since Aug. 2.
The left-hander is 0-3 with a 3.99 ERA over his last five starts, and the bats haven't done him any favors by backing him with seven total runs. He got one run of support Wednesday, when he labored through 104 pitches in 5 1-3 innings while allowing four runs in a 5-4 loss at Colorado.
"I feel like I have been through a tough stretch," Bumgarner said. "We talk about things like this and there is always the feeling that thing would come around."
Perhaps a meeting with the Padres can get him untracked.
Bumgarner is 6-1 with a 3.06 ERA over his last 10 starts against San Diego. He's been significantly helped over his last five visits to Petco Park, going 3-1 with a 3.73 ERA while the lineup has averaged 5.7 runs of support.
He earned a 4-2 win in his latest visit July 11, yielding two runs in seven innings.
Brandon Belt is giving San Francisco some offensive punch, hitting .366 in 11 games after getting an RBI double on one of his two hits Monday. He has a .354 average in 14 meetings with San Diego this year.
The Padres are scheduled to turn to Robbie Erlin (2-2, 5.97), who is looking to build on his best performance of the season in his first meeting with the Giants.
The 22-year-old rookie left-hander yielded one run in six innings of Wednesday's 5-1 win at Arizona, hours after being recalled from Triple-A Tucson.
That was a major improvement from his two previous outings for San Diego in July, losing both while surrendering 12 runs with seven walks in 7 2-3 innings.
"It just comes down to executing," Erlin said. "Executing gets outs. I really just try to keep it simple, throw strikes."
That seems to be working at home, where Erlin is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts.
|San Francisco Giants|
|August 23, 2013||Matt Cain||15-Day DL||Right forearm contusion|
|August 22, 2013||Matt Cain||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm|
|August 22, 2013||Andres Torres||60-Day DL||Surgery, left Achilles - out for season|
|August 20, 2013||Pablo Sandoval||Day-to-Day||Sore back|
|August 17, 2013||Chad Gaudin||15-Day DL||Carpal tunnel syndrome|
|August 15, 2013||Sandy Rosario||Day-to-Day||Bruised sternum|
|San Diego Padres|
|July 31, 2013||Carlos Quentin||15-Day DL||Right knee strain|
|July 23, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|July 20, 2013||Jason Marquis||60-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|July 12, 2013||Kyle Blanks||15-Day DL||Left Achilles tendinitis|
|July 12, 2013||Kyle Blanks||15-Day DL||Left Achilles tendinitis|
|July 07, 2013||Yasmani Grandal||60-Day DL||Right knee sprain|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Padres have not always pitched tough in tight situations this season. The last two games, however, the Padres have been resolute.
Chris Denorfia hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning and San Diego's bullpen was stingy with runners on base, leading the Padres to a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.
San Diego held the Giants to just three hits in 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 base runners. In their 4-1 win on Monday, the Padres left nine San Francisco runners stranded, holding the Giants to 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
"We've been off the mark for most of the year," Padres manager Bud Black said. "But the last couple of (games), we've been able to make the pitches when we needed to."
San Francisco threatened in each of the last four innings, but relievers Tim Stauffer (3-1), Luke Gregerson and closer Huston Street all pitched out of trouble.
"It's been an issue for a while," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "It reared its head again."
Giants catcher Buster Posey was pinch hit for in the seventh after he ripped a nail on the ring finger of his right hand on a wild pitch thrown by Madison Bumgarner in the sixth inning.
Posey shook his right hand after Bumgarner's pitch in the dirt and spent a couple of minutes being attended to by a trainer before he stayed in the game and completed the inning.
"(The pitch) may have hit the lip of home plate," said Posey, the reigning NL MVP. "I can throw the ball fine, but I really didn't try to grip the bat."
Stauffer relieved starter Robbie Erlin in the sixth with one out and runners on first and second, nursing a 2-1 lead. Although Stauffer allowed an RBI single to Joaquin Arias , he escaped further damage by striking out two straight batters to end the inning.
The right-hander then allowed a leadoff triple by Angel Pagan in the seventh before retiring three straight.
"Just trying to make some pitches and get one guy at a time and try not to throw anything out over the plate that they can flip to the outfield," Stauffer said. "Luckily, I was able to get a couple of popups and a strikeout. I think it was a momentum shift that kind of helped."
Said Erlin: "I kind of left him a tough spot there. He minimized the damage for me and did a great job."
Gregerson allowed consecutive two-out singles in the eighth before striking out pinch hitter Roger Kieschnick . Street gave up Brandon Belt 's two-out double before getting Hector Sanchez to ground out to end the game.
Nick Hundley drew a leadoff walk in the seventh from rookie reliever Jake Dunning , who was called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Fresno. Ronnie Cedeno followed with a single to send Hundley to third and bring on reliever Javier Lopez .
Denorfia lined a 1-2 pitch to left for the single that broke a 2-all tie.
Dunning (0-2), who made his major league debut in June, took the loss. Stauffer threw 1 2-3 innings of shutout ball.
Street pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 27 chances.
Defending World Series champion San Francisco (61-77) dropped into last place in the NL West, one game behind San Diego.
Pagan had a single, double and triple heading into his final at-bat in the ninth when he struck out.
San Diego took a 2-0 lead in the fifth following a leadoff double by Kyle Blanks and Hundley's one-out double. After Cedeno was walked intentionally, Erlin drove in the second run with a bloop single. It was Erlin's first major league hit and RBI.
The Giants tied it in the sixth. After consecutive singles by Belt and Posey to start the inning, Pedro Sandoval and Arias followed with consecutive RBI singles with one out.
Bumgarner lasted six innings and gave up two runs and five hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Since the All-Star break, Bumgarner has just one winning decision in nine starts. The left-hander is 1-4 with a 2.67 ERA in that span.
Erlin allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked two.
NOTES: San Francisco RHP Heath Hembree made his major league debut with one inning of perfect relief. ... Padres rookie RHP Burch Smith will start on Friday against Colorado. Smith, who was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on Monday, is 0-1 with an 18.41 ERA in three starts earlier this season with San Diego . ... Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (8-13, 4.38 ERA) opposes Padres LHP Eric Stults (8-12, 3.81) in the series finale Wednesday.