The National League West isn’t known for its rivalries in the same manner as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees feud.

However, San Francisco Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez is doing his best to change that.

After the Giants lost 6-3 to the Atlanta Braves Sunday that extended San Diego’s division lead to two games, Sanchez fired some heavy words in a tall statement.

“We’re going to play San Diego, and we’re going to beat them three times,” Sanchez told The San Francisco Chronicle, speaking of a potential sweep this weekend in a pivotal series against the Padres. “If we get to first place, we’re not going to look back.”

What about the fact the Padres have won seven out of eight games against the Giants this year?

“That was a long time ago,” Sanchez said. “Doesn’t matter. We’ve got a better team now.”

The prediction came on the same day Sanchez couldn’t pitch himself into the fifth inning, surrendering four runs in four innings against the Atlanta Braves.

Sanchez has pitched well against the Padres this season. In three starts and 21 innings of work, Sanchez has allowed six runs and 11 hits, but he hasn’t produced a win.

Mat Latos can be thanked for that.

Latos has out-dueled Sanchez in all three outings. In 22 innings against the Giants, Latos has surrendered just two runs and 11 hits.

Guess what?

Both pitchers were on the hill Sunday, which could result in another face-off this weekend in San Francisco.

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