In his first two major league games, Cory Spangenberg has kept the San Diego Padres progressing through one of their most fruitful stretches of the season.
The Padres were a little closer to barren in last month’s matchup with Arizona’s Josh Collmenter.
The Diamondbacks right-hander will try to produce another superb outing Wednesday night while helping his club snap an eight-game road losing streak.
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Spangenberg singled in what proved to be the winning two runs in his MLB debut during the series opener against the Diamondbacks on Monday, a 3-1 victory. He followed with a pinch-hit walk-off homer in a 2-1 win Tuesday – San Diego’s seventh in nine games.
"This is unbelievable so far. I’m just trying to soak everything in and enjoy the moment and hopefully it lasts for a long time," Spangenberg said.
The Padres (66-71) have won 16 of 19 at home and are 6-2 on a 10-game stay at Petco Park. They’ve also won three in a row over the Diamondbacks (57-81), losers in 12 of 16.
Arizona’s eight-game skid away from home is its longest since a franchise-worst 14 consecutive defeats in 2010.
Collmenter (9-7, 3.94 ERA) will try to end it with a third sterling performance in a row. The right-hander began the stretch Aug. 22 by giving up one unearned run and matching a career high with eight strikeouts over 8 1-3 innings in a 5-1 win over San Diego.
Only two Padres players – Yangervis Solarte and Alexi Amarista – got hits off Collmenter, who is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in two meetings this season.
Collmenter then gave up one run and two hits in 6 1-3 innings Friday against Colorado but did not get a decision in a 5-2 victory.
He has chosen to limit his work between starts, which may be the key to his late-season resurgence, and could be fresh after tossing 81 pitches in his most recent outing.
"I’ve been moderately scaling back stuff between starts just to make sure that I’m as fresh as can be," Collmenter said. "I’m not trying to waste too many bullets between starts."
Andrew Cashner (2-6, 2.37) has had a pair of decent performances since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list for right shoulder soreness, including one against Arizona in his first game back Aug. 23.
The right-hander gave up two runs in five innings of a 5-2 loss to the Diamondbacks and was even better Friday against NL West-leading Los Angeles. He yielded one run in six innings and struck out eight, but did not get a decision again in a 3-2 victory.
"After these two starts, he’s probably ready to have a September of taking the leash off and letting him go pitch. I think the stamina’s there, the endurance, durability, stuff. I look forward to Cash’s September."
Cashner hasn’t earned a win in 10 starts since April 16, and a 2-0 defeat against Arizona on May 2 is one of his career-high five consecutive losses.
While attempting to end that drought, Cashner will try to get the Padres to four games below .500 for the first time since they were 26-30 on May 31. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, will try to delay securing their first losing season since going 65-97 in 2010.