Looking to extend a hot stretch just like their opponent is, the San Diego Padres likely have to generate the run support they've lacked in Andrew Cashner's recent starts to continue theirs.
Pitching well despite being winless in more than a month, Cashner tries to help visiting San Diego win its fourth straight Tuesday night while keeping the Philadelphia Phillies from their longest win streak in three months.
The Padres (65-77) finished a 5-1 homestand Sunday when Nick Hundley delivered a go-ahead, three-run double in the seventh inning in a 5-2 win over Colorado. It was the first time since June 1998 that they won three straight games despite being tied or behind in the seventh inning or later.
Now San Diego hopes to come up big at the plate for Cashner (8-8, 3.45 ERA), who is 0-3 in his last five starts despite a 2.18 ERA. The Padres dropped four of those games and totaled nine runs, including only four when Cashner was on the mound.
The right-hander has yielded two earned runs over his last 21 innings, and he'll try to provide a lift for a rotation that has a 5.52 ERA in dropping eight of 10 away from home. However, Cashner has a 4.61 ERA on the road compared to 2.14 at home.
The converted reliever will start on nine days' rest after throwing a career-high 119 pitches Aug. 31, when he allowed a run in seven innings but did not get a decision in a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers.
"Cash is feeling good," manager Bud Black told the league's official website. "We want him to keep pitching. And he's going to make his starts. He's been great all year."
Cashner, who has given up three earned runs or less in nine straight starts, has a 1.80 ERA against the Phillies in six appearances - all in relief.
Chase Utley has never seen Cashner, but he's batting .385 with three home runs in his last seven games against the Padres. The second baseman is 8 for 17 in his last five games overall.
Utley had two hits and Darin Ruf hit the go-ahead, solo homer in the eighth inning as the Phillies (66-77) swept NL East-leading Atlanta with Sunday's 3-2 victory.
Philadelphia starters posted a 2.45 ERA while striking out 27 in the three games.
"I think it means a lot," said interim manager Ryne Sandberg, who looks to guide the Phillies to four straight wins for the first time since a five-game run June 2-6.
"There are games to be played. And there are games to be won."
Tyler Cloyd (2-3, 3.57) will try to continue the team's recent success on the mound while making the most of another opportunity in the rotation.
The right-hander, who replaces the struggling Ethan Martin, recently received his fourth call-up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. Cloyd last appeared for Philadelphia on Aug. 24, when he walked five but gave up two hits over five shutout innings of relief in a 12-7, 18-inning loss to Arizona.
He was tagged for five runs over six innings in a 5-3 loss to Colorado in his last start Aug. 20 after posting a 1.45 ERA in his previous three, but those came in June.
The Phillies took two of three in San Diego from June 24-26.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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