September 27, 2014
San Francisco Giants' Madison Bumgarner tips his hat to fans after being named the 2014 recipient of the Willie Mac Award prior to a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in San Francisco. At right is Allison McCovey, at left
Ben Margot

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) If the Giants are going to make a serious run at winning a third World Series title in five years, they'll have to do it starting on the road.

That's perfectly fine with manager Bruce Bochy, whose ballclub has played some of its best games away from the comforts of AT&T Park.

''It is encouraging, the fact that we have done a good job on the road,'' Bochy said following San Francisco's 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday night. ''We wanted (a home game) for our fans but hey it didn't happen. We look forward to going on the road, just having a chance.''

San Francisco is two games behind Pittsburgh with two to go. The Pirates hold the tiebreaker, giving them home-field advantage. The Giants could also end up in St. Louis if the Cardinals fail to hold onto their one-game lead in the NL Central.

Hunter Pence doesn't care where the wild card game is. He just wants the postseason to begin.

''There's a driving force to earn a playoff game at home (by winning),'' Pence said. ''It's just a little extra motivation.''

Ian Kennedy pitched seven innings for his third consecutive win while Seth Smith hit a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning to pace the Padres.

Rene Rivera singled in a pair of runs and had two hits, and Yasmani Grandal also drove in a run to help the Padres clinch the season series against their division rivals for the first time since 2010.

Kennedy (13-13) gave up one unearned run and four hits while going over 200 innings pitched for the third time in his career. He's the first San Diego right-hander to do that since current Giants pitcher Jake Peavy in 2007.

''It's a testament to Ian,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''He knew what was in front of him. He knew he was six innings from 200. He knew that he was one win away from 13-13. There's some motivation there, no doubt.''

The Giants managed just five hits and repeatedly came up empty with runners in scoring position. They got four runners to second base with one out and failed to score each time.

San Diego, which rallied from a 6-0 deficit to lead the Giants late before losing 9-8 on Friday, led from the beginning this time.

The Padres jumped on San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong (8-13) for a run in the first then broke the game open with a three-run sixth.

Vogelsong had retired 14 of 16 before Jedd Gyorko's leadoff double in the sixth. The Giants right-hander struck out five and allowed four runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Kennedy pitched out of two-on, one-out jams three times, striking out Travis Ishikawa and Andrew Susac to end the sixth. He retired the final five batters he faced.

Kevin Quackenbush worked the eighth and Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his 11th save.

RUNS ON EMPTY

Vogelsong has inherited Matt Cain's role as the Giants pitcher getting the least run support. In Vogelsong's career-high 32 starts this season, San Francisco was limited to one run or fewer 17 times. Vogelsong's 13 losses also matched his career high set in 2004.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: All-Star catcher Buster Posey was held out of the lineup as a precaution after undergoing an MRI on his back. Posey has been bothered by some nagging soreness. Since Aug. 21, Posey leads the majors with a .413 average.

UP NEXT

Padres: LHP Eric Stults (8-17) is seeking his third win in four starts. A ninth victory would be the second-most of Stults' career.

Giants: Resurgent RHP Peavy (6-4) will make his first career start against the Padres. Peavy broke into the majors with San Diego in 2002 and spent nearly eight seasons there.

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