The Padres kick off a three-game series against the Diamondbacks tonight that will close out the Friars’ opening homestand. San Diego went 7-11 against the 2011 NL West champs last year, including a 5-4 mark at Petco Park. Over the last two years, the Padres have gone a 13-5 at home vs. Arizona, with the pitching staff posting a 2.85 ERA (52 ER/164.0 IP) and 8.6 strikeouts per 9.0 IP over that stretch.
San Diego snapped it’s season-opening skid, winning 8-4 over the Dodgers on Sunday. Clayton Richard picked up the win, improving to 5-1 lifetime against LAD. He retired the first nine batters he faced and allowed only two unearned runs in his 7.0 innings of work. The Friars’ offense was powered by Andy Parrino’s first career home run and Chase Headley’s second career grand slam.
Edinson Volquez takes the hill for his second start of the season tonight. He was tagged with the loss in his first start, making his second career Opening Day start (also 2011 for CIN). Tonight he is making his fourth career start against ARI, his first since 2010. He is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA against the Diamondbacks but has averaged 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 IP with 20 in his 17.1 innings of work. Volquez is looking to snap a five-decision losing streak that dates back to 7/5/11.
Tonight the Padres will face Trevor Cahill, who is making his 97th career start but his first ever against San Diego. In fact, Orlando Hudson (2-for-4) and Jason Bartlett (1-for-1) are the only Padres currently on the active roster to log plate appearances against Cahill in his career.
The players on the Padres active 25-man roster have combined to hit .248 (241-for-970) off Diamondbacks pitching in their career. Leading that group are Chase Headley (.282, 57-for-202), Nick Hundley (.303, 37-for-122), Chris Denorfia (.355, 22-for-62) and Jesus Guzman (.275, 11-for-40). For Hundley, a former University of Arizona Wildcat, his 37 hits against the Diamondbacks are his most against any opponent.
Following today’s series and trip finale in Philadelphia, the Padres return home for a nine-game homestand against three NL West division opponents (Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles). Here is who the Friars are scheduled to face over the first two series of that stretch:
ARIZONA (7/26-28): LHP Joe Saunders, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Daniel Hudson
COLORADO (7/29-31): RHP Jason Hammel, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP Juan Nicasio
The Padres are 7-7 combined against the Diamondbacks and Rockies so far this year, including a 3-3 mark at PETCO Park. Remember to pick up your free issue of the Blueprint. Here is a preview of this homestand’s cover:
With a big Fourth of July win yesterday, the Padres continue to inch closer to the .500 mark. Each of the starting nine collected at least one hit in yesterday’s win, handing Tim Lincecum his seventh loss of the season. Yesterday was also interesting in that each of the Padres pitchers was credited with either a win (Richard), hold (Frieri, Spence, Qualls, Adams) or save (Bell). The four holds match the most by any team this season (14th time) and tie for the most ever in a single game by the Padres (6th time).
The Friars are 9-3 in their last 12 tilts and have not lost consecutive games since June 19-20. Over the current 12-game stretch, the Pads are posting a 2.68 ERA (31 ER/104.0 IP) and have held opponents to three or fewer runs in 10 of those contests (including two shutouts). The starting rotation has been credited with seven of the nine wins, recording a 2.57 ERA (20 ER/70.0 IP).
On the offensive side, Cameron Maybin (.341), Chase Headley (.368) and Will Venable (.323) are each hitting over .300 during the 12-game stretch.
After being optioned to Triple-A Tucson in late May, Venable has had a strong showing in his return to the Big Leagues. Since beening recalled on June 9, Venable is hitting .326 with a.385 OBP and .478 SLG (.863 OPS).
Chase Headley is tearing it up this road trip, hitting .533 (16-for-30) with four doubles. Last night marked his third four-hit game of the trip. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, last MLB player before Headley with at least three games of four or more hits on one road trip was (former Padre) Marcus Giles for the Braves in 2003. Atlanta had a brief road trip of four games (a four-game series in Montreal) and Giles had three four-hit games in that series.
The Padres will look to turn the tide tonight with Mat Latos taking the hill. He was slated to face Josh Beckett, who has been scratched due to illness. RHP Alfredo Aceves will start in his place. Tonight’s game will be Latos’ fifth career Interleague start. He is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA (7 ER/25.2 IP) in his four previous outings against the American League.
In other news from Boston, it has been a busy homecoming for General Manager Jed Hoyer. He was swarmed by media on the field prior to last night’s series opener:
The Padres continue the Interleague slate with a three-game set in Boston that begins today. The series marks the return of Jed Hoyer to Boston along with Anthony Rizzo’s first appearance against the team that drafted him in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft. In addition, Adrian Gonzalez will face the Friars for the first time since moving to the American League following the 2010 season. Here are the projected pitching matchups for the series:
LHP Andrew Miller vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc
RHP Josh Beckett vs. RHP Mat Latos
RHP John Lackey vs. LHP Clayton Richard
With tonight’s game, the Pads are looking to snap a five-game losing streak and grab their first Interleague win of the season. Despite the struggles in the win column, the Padres bats have been showing some life on this trip. Chase Headley (.480, 12-for-25), Chris Denorfia (.320, 8-for-25) and Jason Bartlett (.292, 7-for-22) have all been swinging a solid bat and will look to continue that trend as they take on the Red Sox.
The Padres snapped a brief two-game skid with a 3-1 win last night, improving to 6-5 in their last 11 games. Over that stretch, the Padres pitching staff has posted a 2.52 ERA with starters working 7.0 or more innings on six occasions.
Dustin Moseley picked up the win yesterday after 7.0 innings of one-run ball. A victim of bad luck all year long, Moseley is now 2-6 despite lowering his ERA to 3.00. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is one of just 23 qualifying pitchers with an ERA of 3.00 or better but is the only one of those pitchers who does not boast a winning record.
On the offensive side, Chase Headley extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games, Ryan Ludwick has now hit safely in 17 of his last 21 games and Chris Denorfia belted his fourth home run of the season.
Chase Headley knocked an RBI single in the third inning last night, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. With that hit, he extended his career high and passed Orlando Hudson for the longest hitting streak by a Padre this season.
Ryan Ludwick drove in one run last night, giving him 36 RBI on the season. He leads the team and ranks tied for eighth in the NL. Luddy has now hit safely in 16 of his last 20 games.
The Padres drove in two runs on sacrifice flies in the seventh last night. The last time they had two sac flies in a single inning was 7/23/10 at PIT (top 2). Since the start of the 2007 season, the Padres have accomplished the feat just one other time (9/7/08 at MIL – top 7).
The Padres can still clinch a split of the season series against the Cardinals with a win this afternoon. They are 9-7 in series finales on the year. Today it will be Mat Latos taking on Chris Carpenter. Latos has not faced the Cardinals this year while Carpenter started against the Padres on Opening Day, a 5-3 extra-inning win for the Padres.
A few notes following last night’s game:
Aaron Harang has now worked 7.0-or-more innings in three of his last four starts and is 1-0 with a 3.42 ERA (10 ER/26.1 IP) over that stretch. He is 3-2 with a 3.40 ERA (17 ER/45.0 IP) in seven starts at home this year.
Chase Headley (1-for-3 last night) has hit safely in 18 of his last 24 games since 4/29, batting .316 (24-for-76) with six doubles during that stretch.
Brad Hawpe (1-for-4 last night) has hit safely in 19 of his last 23 games with an at-bat, hitting .314 (27-for-86) with eight doubles and 13 runs scored in 25 games overall since 4/25 over that span.