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SD@SFL Bumgarner discusses clinching the NL West

When you get right down to it, Eric Stults has done a heck of a job for the Padres this year.

The 32-year-old lefty will be making his final start of the season for San Diego on Saturday against the Giants, his 14th since being claimed off waivers from the White Sox on May 17. In his 13 starts and 17 games so far, Stults has a 7-3 record and a 2.81 ERA. Picked up to fill a starting slot opened when nearly everyone in the Padres' starting rotation got hurt near the beginning of the year, Stults will be capping off what is certainly the best season of his career, as his 19 games, seven wins and 50 strikeouts are all career highs.

"I'm not a very big numbers guy as far as ERA," Stults said earlier this month. "For me, in the games I started, did we win the game?"

Lately, the answer to that question has been yes. The veteran lefty has turned in a quality start in five of his last six outings and is 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA since Aug. 6. He beat the Giants in his last outing, a three-run, six-inning showing Sept. 23.

Stults will face fellow southpaw Madison Bumgarner, also making his last regular-season start of 2012, though he has at least one more coming in the Giants' National League Division Series next week.

Bumgarner will also be capping off a noteworthy season with Saturday's start. At 16-10, Bumgarner is already the first Giants lefty since Kirk Rueter in 1998 to win as many as 16 games. While most pitchers would be happy to be on the Petco Park mound as they try for one last strong start, Bumgarner would much rather be on the AT&T Park rubber: He is 6-7 with a 4.21 ERA on the road this year and 10-3 with a 2.38 average at home.

Giants: Lincecum likely Sunday starter
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that Tim Lincecum will "probably" be the starter for Sunday's game with the Padres, likely setting up Matt Cain to start Game 1 of the Giants' NL Division Series opener next weekend.

The move means Cain will start Monday's game in Los Angeles, giving him four days prior to a Division Series opener. Bumgarner is a likely candidate to start the second game of the Division Series.

Padres: Forsythe out of the lineup again with sore knee
San Diego second baseman Logan Forsythe did not play in Friday's loss to the Giants, the second straight day he was out of the lineup after he was a late scratch prior to Thursday's game with a sore right knee.

Forsythe has started 69 games at second base this year since returning from a broken left foot. He had surgery on his other knee last fall to fix a meniscus issue.

Forsythe, hitting .282 with five homers and 24 RBIs, was replaced in the lineup by Andy Parrino, who was hitless both Thursday and Friday.

Worth noting
• After his two-hit night Friday, Giants catcher Buster Posey is hitting .334 for the season, four points ahead of the NL's second-best hitter, Andrew McCutcheon, for the league lead. The last player to win the NL batting title as a catcher was Ernie Lombardi, who did it for the Boston Braves with a .330 average in 1942. Comments