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Tue, Jun 28, 2011 - 10:05 PM ET
 

Royals-Padres Preview

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After a rough start to interleague play, the San Diego Padres are finally having some success against AL opponents in 2011.

The Padres look for a fourth consecutive interleague victory when they continue their home series with the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

San Diego (35-45) was outscored 40-16 while dropping its first seven interleague games this season, but has totaled 14 runs while winning three straight over Boston and Kansas City. The Padres won for the fifth time in six games overall following a season-high six-game skid, 4-3 over the Royals on Monday.

Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer, Chase Headley added two hits and Mat Latos won for the first time in four starts.

Headley has hit .477 his last 11 games, while Ludwick is batting .316 his past five interleague contests. Ludwick has batted .300 (9 for 30) with two home runs and six RBIs his last eight games versus Kansas City.

Clayton Richard (3-9, 4.21 ERA) takes the mound for the Padres looking to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. The left-hander snapped a personal five-game losing streak when he allowed a run in five innings of a 5-1 rain-shortened win at Boston on Wednesday for his first victory since May 16.

"It's good that he was rewarded for a performance that lasted like a 5 1/2-hour period (because of four rain delays),'' Padres manager Bud Black said. "He deserved that.''

Richard is 1-2 with a 7.20 ERA as a starter against the Royals, but has not faced them since 2009 while with the White Sox.

Billy Butler is 5 for 9 with a homer against Richard, and batting .333 his last eight games overall. Butler went 0 for 1 in a pinch-hit role Monday and catcher Brayan Pena drove in two runs as the Royals (33-46) lost for the sixth time in nine games.

"We're to the point where we can make a game interesting,'' manager Ned Yost said. "But we have to get over that hump and make them start to count a little bit. We're always one hit away. There will be a time when we get that one hit, but we're struggling to do it right now.''

Scheduled Kansas City starter Felipe Paulino (0-1, 3.09) tries to bounce back from his first loss in five starts this season. The right-hander allowed five runs in eight innings of a 5-3 loss to Arizona on Thursday to fall to 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA as a starter.

"I like his fastball and that he can throw it for strikes,'' Yost said of Paulino, who was acquired by the Royals on May 26 after Colorado designated him for assignment. "He's got a lot of upside, a lot of potential.''

Paulino allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings of a 2-1 victory in his only previous start versus San Diego while with Houston last season.

The Padres have won four straight at home over the Royals.

Tagged: Royals, Padres, Ryan Ludwick, Felipe Paulino, Clayton Richard

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