A stirring comeback in their series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers provided the San Diego Padres with some positivity during a difficult week.
They'll try to keep the positive vibes intact by tying their longest win streak of the season.
Josh Beckett looks to keep the Padres from winning a fourth straight game Saturday night while attempting to regain the form he showed for much of the past month.
Los Angeles (40-35) was on the brink of a season-high fourth consecutive win Friday when it took a two-run lead into the ninth inning in San Diego. The Padres, though, came away with a 6-5 victory on Everth Cabrera's sacrifice fly.
'This has been a tough week for San Diego," said Padres manager Bud Black, referring to the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn on Monday. 'When you look at the whole week, it has been more so than just the game. This was a good win for the city.'
Carlos Quentin and Will Venable each hit RBI doubles in the ninth, and Seth Smith had a pair of home runs in the club's third straight victory. The Padres (32-42) had lost nine of their prior 11 games against Los Angeles and six of the previous eight home matchups.
San Diego now tries for its first four-game win streak since May 9-13, and first four-game home win streak since Sept. 6-20.
Beckett (4-4, 2.49 ERA) will try to spoil that while bouncing back from a 6-3 loss to Arizona on Sunday. The right-hander gave up four runs in seven innings after posting a 1.38 ERA in his prior four starts, beginning with his first career no-hitter in Philadelphia on May 25.
"Everything that could go wrong did go wrong," Beckett said.
The Dodgers headed to San Diego after Clayton Kershaw's first career no-hitter against Colorado on Wednesday and the team's starting rotation has a 2.51 ERA in the last 12 games.
Beckett is 5-2 with a 2.41 ERA in eight career starts against the Padres, and hasn't faced them since April 9, 2013, when he gave up three runs over five innings.
His counterpart Saturday, Tyson Ross (6-6, 3.27), gave up a career-high seven walks and five runs in 5 2-3 innings in a 5-1 loss in Seattle on Monday. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in his three starts this month but pitched seven scoreless innings in a 3-0 loss in Philadelphia on June 11.
"My command wasn't very sharp," Ross said. "I kind of grinded through some innings there and overall just wasn't in the strike zone early and often enough."
Ross had a 1.86 ERA in his first two starts against the Dodgers before giving up four runs over five innings in a 5-1 home loss April 2, his season debut.
Adrian Gonzalez, 7 for 21 in his last six games, is 4 for 9 in his career against Ross.
Quentin, who is batting .106 with 23 runners left on base in his last 17 contests, is 2 for 14 with six strikeouts against Beckett.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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