With their collective confidence growing, the San Diego Padres have put together an encouraging road trip.
The Padres look for a season high fourth consecutive victory while trying to hand the Arizona Diamondbacks a fourth straight defeat Tuesday night at Chase Field.
Alexi Amarista hit one of his team’s three home runs and had three RBIs to help San Diego (31-50) improve to 5-3 on a 10-game trip with a 6-2 win at Arizona on Monday. The Padres are 15-26 on the road this season, but have won nine of their last 14 away from Petco Park.
The Padres have scored a major league-low 279 runs on the season, but they’ve plated six or more four times on their current trip.
“Even though (the) numbers are not where we want them, I do sense better things are happening” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official website.
Amarista, the diminutive second baseman, has gone 9 for 16 over his last five games while hitting all of his four career home runs and driving in 11. Three of rookie catcher Yasmani Grandal’s four hits in 14 career at-bats have left the park, with all the hits coming on the current trip.
San Diego will provide the next opponent for prized Arizona pitching prospect Trevor Bauer (0-0, 4.50 ERA) on Tuesday. The third overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, Bauer allowed two runs, five hits and three walks in his major league debut Thursday, leaving after four innings with a groin strain in the Diamondbacks’ eventual 3-2 victory at Atlanta.
The 21-year-old Bauer, who has dealt with a tight hamstring most of this season in the minors, does not seem too concerned.
“It’s been worse in (Double-A) and I never missed a start,” he told the Diamondbacks’ official website. “I’ll be fine.”
Arizona (39-40) had averaged 8.0 runs while winning four in a row and 10 of 11 at Chase Field before Clayton Richard threw 8 2-3 strong innings for San Diego to open this homestand. Paul Goldschmidt had two hits and an RBI for the Diamondbacks, who have totaled five runs and gone 0 for 21 with runners in scoring position during their three-game overall skid.
“We get guys on second and we don’t get them over we don’t get them in,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “We have just not executed well overall, it’s something that we need to fix.”
Second baseman Aaron Hill wasn’t involved in any scoring Monday, but he did have a double and is batting .485 (32 for 66) during a 17-game home hitting streak. He has never faced Andrew Cashner (3-3, 3.63), who will make his third start of the season after 27 relief appearances.
After spending three weeks in the minors to build up strength before joining San Diego’s rotation full-time, Cashner took a no-hitter into the seventh and yielded only a Brian Bogusevic two-run homer plus one other hit over 6 1-3 innings Thursday, though he didn’t get a decision in the Padres’ 7-3 win at Houston.
“I just try to make pitches,” said Cashner, who struck out a career-high nine. “I feel like my legs are really strong right now and I can hold my velocity.”
The right-hander’s first career start came against Arizona while with the Chicago Cubs on April 5, 2011. Cashner gave up a solo home run to Ryan Roberts and one other hit over 5 1-3 innings of that contest, a Chicago victory in which he did not get a decision.