Padres 5, Marlins 0

Andrew Cashner is learning on the fly when it comes to starting
major league games. This was another positive step.

Cashner pitched 7 1-3 innings of four-hit ball and the San Diego
Padres beat the Miami Marlins 5-0 on Monday night.

”Andrew was very good tonight,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
”I like the fact that he pitched into the eighth inning and gave
our bullpen a rest. It was a clean win for us with good defense and
timely hitting, but starting pitching is the key to our
success.”

Cashner (2-2) struck out four and walked three in the longest
outing of his career. Dale Thayer finished the five-hitter in front
of a season-low crowd of 14,596 at Petco Park.

Cashner was a reliever at the beginning of last season, then
made five starts toward the end of the year. The right-hander began
this season in the bullpen after an offseason thumb injury hampered
his ability to stretch out during spring training.

But he’s back in the rotation now, and he bounced back quite
nicely after a rocky showing in a loss at Chicago in his previous
start.

Cashner, who can reach triple digits with his fastball,
dominated Miami with his slow stuff. His changeup was an out pitch,
and his sinker set up key double plays.

”I made good pitches when I needed to, which got me through
some tough times,” he said. ”I think that’s big. And that was the
longest I’ve ever gone in a major league start, so there’s
definitely some confidence built from that. If I execute earlier in
the game, I’ll be able to routinely go deep into games and help my
team win.”

Miami was shut out for the fifth time this season, tying Atlanta
and Philadelphia for most in the majors. The Marlins are last in
the league with a .226 team batting average and 98 runs this
season.

The lackluster performance came a day after Miami scored 14 runs
in a victory over Philadelphia.

”We had a couple chances early and we didn’t capitalize,”
manager Mike Redmond said. ”We didn’t get it done, and we’ve been
struggling with guys in scoring position. It’s frustrating when
that happens.”

Jedd Gyorko homered for the third time in six days and Chase
Headley had an RBI double for San Diego, which has won four of five
and nine of 12. It was the Padres’ first shutout the season.

Wade LeBlanc (0-5) allowed four runs, three earned, and four
hits over five innings in his first career start against his former
team. The left-hander is 0-7 with a 6.35 ERA in his last 12
appearances dating to last season.

Miami handed a run to San Diego when catcher Rob Brantly dropped
Carlos Quentin’s two-out popup in the first, allowing Everth
Cabrera to score from second.

Gyorko connected in the second, driving a 1-0 pitch over the
wall in center for his third homer of the season.

”That’s a sign that my timing is good,” said Gyorko, who is
batting .333 with six RBIs in his last 14 games. ”I have a natural
lift in my swing, and the ball will travel if the bat’s on time.
Right now it is. The key now is to sustain it.”

That’s also the key for the Padres as they try to stay on a roll
after getting off to a dismal 5-15 start.

”We’re playing the way we thought we were capable at the start
of the season,” said Headley, who extended his hitting streak to
11 games. ”Baseball is funny that way, with stretches where
nothing goes right and others where you get it all turned around.
Hopefully our slow start will be a blip on the radar and we’ll play
well for the majority of the year.”

NOTES: Padres RHP Clayton Richard saw a gastroenterologist for
help with an intestinal virus that sent him to the 15-day disabled
list. Black said the ailment won’t keep him from a regular throwing
schedule, and he will go on a minor league rehab assignment before
returning to 25-man roster. . CF Cameron Maybin (wrist) won’t be
ready for baseball activities for 10 to 14 days. Black said
swinging a bat will be the biggest hurdle to Maybin’s return from
the disabled list. . Redmond said 1B Logan Morrison will start
playing extended spring training games on Tuesday. Morrison is on
the 60-day disabled list with a right knee injury and is eligible
to return June 1. . Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez played catch
Monday, a milestone after suffering a setback in the rehab of his
shoulder injury.