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Latos, LeBlanc stellar against Giants

Latos, LeBlanc stellar against Giants

PADRES 7, GIANTS (ss) 1
at Peoria, Ariz.
Monday, March 15

Padres at the plate: The Padres got singles from Will Venable (second inning) and Everth Cabrera (third) and then stolen bases by each. Both baserunners were stranded on base, though. The Padres scored seven runs in the fifth inning on a Tony Gwynn RBI double, an Adrian Gonzalez RBI single and a two-run double by Kyle Blanks. Cabrera added another hit and an RBI in that inning.

Giants at the plate: It wasn't much of a swing, but left fielder Francisco Peguero's check-swing double got past Gonzalez at first base in the second inning for an RBI double. Nate Schierholtz atoned for a strikeout early with a triple in the third inning. He was stranded at third base, though. Aubrey Huff had a single and a walk.

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Padres on the mound: Starting pitcher Mat Latos, who is a candidate to earn a spot at the back end of the rotation, was impressive. His fastball was clocked as high as 96 mph. He allowed one run in four innings with three strikeouts. His slider had a good bite to it as well. Left-hander Wade LeBlanc followed with four scoreless innings. LeBlanc had his changeup and curveball working well.

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Giants on the mound: Pitcher Guillermo Mota, one of a handful of relievers the Giants used on a split-squad day, was impressive in his two innings of work. Mota allowed one hit with three strikeouts. Denny Batista, who followed Mota, struck out three in his one inning of work. Brandon Medders also tossed a scoreless inning.

Worth noting: The go-go Padres, who entered the game with a Cactus League-best 15 stolen bases, got five more Monday (Venable, Cabrera, Blanks, Chase Headley and Oscar Salazar). The Padres have encouraged their baserunners to take bigger leads and take chances on the bases this spring. That was certainly the case Monday.

Cactus League records: Padres 4-8; Giants 10-5

Up next: Jon Garland will get the start for the Padres at 1:05 p.m. PT Tuesday against the Angels at the Peoria Sports Complex. Garland is scheduled to go four innings. The game will also feature the Cactus League debut of left-hander Joe Thatcher, who experienced tightness in his left shoulder early in Spring Training. Thatcher will likely be the only left-hander in the bullpen and will be expected to be death on left-handed hitters again like he was in 2009 when he limited lefties to a .182 batting average.

Tuesday is Tim Lincecum's day to pitch, which means all eyes will be on the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner when the Giants confront the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, Ariz. The right-hander has compiled an unsightly 9.82 ERA while opponents have hit .421 off him in two Cactus League starts. Lincecum does have five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings, indicating that at his stuff's not completely lacking, but consistency is. Right-hander Jake Westbrook is scheduled to start for Cleveland.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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