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SD@SF: Vogelsong strikes out six over seven innings

A week after they met in a series that saw the Giants clinch the National League West title and all but officially eliminate the Padres from playoff contention, San Francisco and San Diego are back at it this weekend at Petco Park for a series that has no playoff implications whatsoever -- at least for 2012.

But the matchup may be an increasingly intriguing one in the years to come, particularly given the second-half push that propelled the Padres to relative, though brief, playoff contention and has secured the team its seventh winning season at home in nine seasons at Petco Park.

"I think the biggest thing to be proud of is the way we have fought back to where we are now," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "To do that, you have to be able to play well at home, you've got to play well on the road, you've got to play well at night, you've got to play well during the day -- and that's what we've done. I think that's what our players should be proud of."

Keeping that strong second half going -- and a small measure of revenge -- will be the goal Friday when Padres starter Andrew Werner takes the mound against San Francisco. The rookie southpaw's last outing came in the Giants' division clincher, in which San Francisco knocked Werner from the game with five runs in just 3 2/3 innings en route to the memorable win.

Werner will hope to improve on that less-than-memorable showing Friday as he matches up with Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong posted a quality start against the Padres in last weekend's series opener, a reversal of fortunes of his own after a seven-start stretch in which he had compiled a 10.31 ERA. He is, however, 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA against the Padres this season, including that one-run performance Sept. 21.

Giants: Melky left off playoff roster
The Giants announced Thursday that suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera will be left off the playoff roster, even if the team goes deep enough into the postseason that Cabrera would be eligible to return.

Cabrera, who was suspended for testing positive for testosterone on Aug. 15, would be eligible after five games of postseason play. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the 28-year-old will not rejoin the team, which will stick with the group that separated itself from the rest of the NL West and clinched the division title -- all without the All-Star Game MVP.

"We have a pretty big roster, and our guys have done a good job of stepping up when we needed them to," Bochy said. "I think it's for the best of this club if you've looked at how they've played and all we've been through. These guys have really done a great job. There's a reason we're in this situation."

Padres: Headley hunting down RBI crown
Third baseman Chase Headley is still very much in the mix for the NL's RBI crown. With 109 RBIs, Headley is just one behind MVP candidate Ryan Braun of the Brewers for the league lead, though both are far behind the pace of Major League leader Miguel Cabrera (133).

Headley is also No. 3 in the NL in walks with 81. Reds first baseman Joey Votto -- who missed 48 games with a knee injury -- would likely have run away with the league title had he been healthy, as his 88 walks put him just three behind Braves second baseman Dan Uggla for the NL lead.

Worth noting
• Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal made his 48th start of the season Thursday night. With two more starts behind the plate, Grandal will become the third Padres backstop with 50 or more starts this season, joining Nick Hundley (56) and John Baker (50). According to Elias, no Major League team since 1900 has had three catchers each start 50 or more games behind the plate.

The last time the Padres had three catchers make at least 30 starts was 1993 (Kevin Higgins, Brad Ausmus, Bob Geren).

• Giants infielder Marco Scutaro was 1-for-4 with a homer in Thursday's win, extending his career-best hitting streak to 15 games, the longest active streak in the Majors. Comments