National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, June 15th
(All times Eastern)
Arizona Diamondbacks (37-30) at San Diego Padres (33-34), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Wade Miley (4-5, 4.89)
San Diego - Jason Marquis (8-2, 3.59)
(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres suddenly find themselves in the thick
of a hunt for first place in the NL West.
The Padres will try to cut into their deficit for that top spot again on
Saturday night as they eye a fifth straight victory in the middle portion of a
three-game series with the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.
Following a three-game sweep of the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, San Diego
notched its third four-game winning streak of the season by taking Friday's
opener 2-1 thanks to a gem by Eric Stults. His first complete game since 2009
helped the Padres put their 5-15 start even further behind them.
Stults gave up just two hits in his third career complete game. The first came
on Gerardo Parra's leadoff double and he would later score in the inning on a
Cody Ross sac fly.
However, Arizona would not get another hit until there was one out in the
ninth inning and drew just one walk off Stults in the game. The San Diego
hurler retired 16 of his final 17 batters while also coming up with some key
plays in the field.
"I thought it was a masterful performance," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He
was outstanding, the mix of pitches. The wide range of velocities keeps the
hitter off balance and disrupts their timing."
Stults effort was nearly wasted until Logan Forsythe came through with a two-
run single in the sixth inning with two outs. That allowed San Diego to pull
within four games of Arizona for first place in the division.
Friday's win gave San Diego a 4-3 edge in the season series so far and a win
tonight would put the Padres at .500 for the first time this season.
San Diego didn't do much against Arizona starter Trevor Cahill until
Forsythe's go-ahead hit. Cahill matched a career high with 10 strikeouts,
logging 5 2/3 innings and losing his fourth straight decision.
"He was pretty darn good. It was just the sixth. You can't fault anybody for
one inning or one hitter," Arizona acting manager Alan Trammell said after his
club lost for the fourth time in six games.
Trammell was managing in place of Kirk Gibson, who served a one-game
suspension for the on-field incidents that occurred during Tuesday's game with
the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gibson was punished with the ban after Ian Kennedy hit Dodgers pitcher Zack
Greinke with a pitch up high in the shoulder/head area after both benches had
already been warned. The benches emptied and several skirmishes broke out on
Kennedy was hit with a 10-game suspension, while infielder Eric Hinske
received a five-game ban for what the league called aggressive actions during
the incidents. Both players are appealing, meaning Kennedy is still scheduled
to pitch Sunday's finale.
Kennedy was originally scheduled to oppose Jason Marquis, but the Padres
altered their rotation on Friday. Marquis will move up a day to pitch tonight,
with Clayton Richard sliding back to Sunday. Marquis will still be on regular
rest because of Thursday's off day.
It makes sense for Black to try and maximize Marquis' appearances given that
the right-hander is 8-2 with a 3.59 earned run average this season and has won
seven straight decisions.
Marquis is unbeaten over his last nine outings, posting a 3.15 ERA in that
span, and won his second straight start on Monday. The 34-year-old held
Atlanta to a pair of runs over 7 2/3 innings on five hits and a season high-
tying five walks.
"I allow the game to dictate how I attack it," Marquis said. "I go in with a
game plan, but I just see where the game takes me."
Still, the walks could be an issue. Marquis had issued at least four free
passes in nine of his 13 starts this year, with an MLB-leading 43 total over
77 2/3 innings.
Marquis is 3-7 with a 4.53 ERA in 17 career meetings with Arizona, all but one
of those starts. He has a 6.75 ERA in two encounters this season, though he
did hold the Diamondbacks to three runs over six frames of a home victory on
Wade Miley hopes to end his season-long struggles against the Padres tonight
as he makes his 14th start of the campaign for the Diamondbacks.
Miley has lost both of his starts versus San Diego this season, allowing 11
runs over 8 2/3 total innings for an 11.42 ERA. That has dropped his career
numbers in this series to 1-4 with a 7.52 ERA in six meetings.
The 26-year-old southpaw is 1-0 over his last two starts -- on the road versus
St. Louis and Los Angeles -- despite allowing six runs and 20 hits over 12 2/3
frames. It has been an improvement over his previous four outings, an 0-4 span
that saw Miley pitch to a 9.14 ERA.
Miley is 4-5 on the season with a 4.89 ERA.
06/15 10:53:08 ET