The Florida Marlins are the latest team to come into Petco Park and push around the punchless San Diego Padres.
Ricky Nolasco struck out 10 and combined with three relievers on a three-hitter Wednesday, leading the Marlins to a 5-0 win that completed a three-game sweep.
Chris Coghlan hit a two-run homer off Heath Bell in the ninth and Jeremy Hermida connected leading off the second against Josh Geer. It was the major league-leading 24th home run allowed by Geer, who has allowed a homer in eight straight starts.
“It’s big,” Nolasco said. “We knew this week was big coming up for us. We know we’ve got the Dodgers coming up. We had to take at least two of three from here. It’s a plus we took all of them.”
Not only did they sweep the Padres, but they get to stick around San Diego for a day off Thursday before heading to Los Angeles on Friday to open a series against the NL West-leading Dodgers.
And the Padres? They had to fly to Washington, and will bus to Philadelphia on Thursday to make up a game that was rained out on April 20. They’ll bus back to Washington for a weekend set featuring the two worst teams in the NL.
The Padres are 12-33 since June 1, the worst record in the majors over that stretch. They had five rookies in Wednesday’s lineup, including Geer (1-6), and were booed after leaving the bases loaded in the seventh.
San Diego was 1-6 on this homestand against Colorado and Florida. The visitors finished with 33 runs and 60 hits while the Padres had 12 runs and 42 hits.
“When it rains, it pours, I guess,” San Diego’s Chase Headley said. “Nobody’s really swinging very well right now. It’s a tough go. You have to figure a way to get everybody going.”
Nolasco (7-7) allowed two hits in 6 1-3 innings and walked three for his fifth win in six decisions. It was his seventh career game of 10 or more strikeouts and first since he fanned 12 in a 5-0 win at Pittsburgh on July 5.
He had the listless Padres off balance from the start, striking out the side in the first inning, sandwiched around a two-out walk to Adrian Gonzalez. He struck out two more in the second, when he allowed a one-out single to rookie Kyle Blanks.
Nolasco wasn’t happy with the walks, but was pleased with his slider.
“I was getting ahead of guys,” he said. “A couple of guys I fell behind and ended up walking, but once I was ahead, the slider was there and they just kept swinging over the top of it so I kept throwing it. It was late, sharp. So, I’m going to keep throwing it until guys prove they can hit it.”
After Blanks’ single, Nolasco retired 14 straight until Gonzalez walked leading off the seventh. Nolasco struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff for the third straight time, then departed after allowing a single to Drew Macias and walking Blanks.
Brendan Donnelly entered and retired Luis Rodriguez on a popup to shortstop before pinch-hitter Headley looked at a called third strike.
“I took a borderline pitch,” said Headley, who reacted angrily and then talked with umpire Mike DiMuro. “I thought originally he called it a ball because he didn’t really respond right away. I started to first and he called me out. That was more the frustration. It was a borderline pitch. It’s a pitch I should have tried to foul off.”
Geer lost his third consecutive start and fifth straight decision. He allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.
Hermida homered down the right-field line on a 1-2 pitch, his 11th of the year. Coghlan’s homer to right-center was his fourth.
Dan Uggla hit an RBI single in the sixth, and Florida scored a run on a throwing error by San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera in the eighth.
“When you don’t score it looks bad,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “We’re just not hitting. We have a number of guys struggling at the same time.”
NOTES: Kouzmanoff struck out four times. … All three Marlins starters earned wins this series. … Gonzalez’s batting average has dropped 43 points since June 2, from .292 to .249. He’s hitting .197 since June 2, with three homers, 11 RBIs and 38 walks. … Gonzalez has a majors-leading 21 multiwalk games.