Aside from a disappointing showing in the opener of this week’s
four-game set, the San Diego Padres are starting to show signs of
They’ll try to keep playing well Wednesday afternoon against the
major league-worst Houston Astros, losers of 14 of 16.
After going 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position during
Monday’s 2-0 loss, San Diego (37-55) bounced back with an 8-2
victory Tuesday. Ross Ohlendorf improved to 3-0 with six strong
innings and Yonder Alonso went 2 for 3 with his first homer at
Petco Park. Batting .407 with 16 RBIs in his last 15 games, Alexi
Amarista matched a career high with three hits.
While San Diego ranks last in the majors with 328 runs, it’s
picked up the pace of late. The Padres, winners of nine of 14, have
scored at least seven runs in three of their last four games.
“I think the past month has been a lot better,” Alonso said.
“The younger guys, especially myself, are more comfortable. You’re
seeing it from the younger guys, we’re having better at-bats. If
you have a group of guys having good at-bats against a pitcher, any
time you do that, it just gets better and better.”
The Astros (34-57) snapped a 13-game road losing streak with
Monday’s win, but failed to keep the momentum going. Houston has
been outscored 78-37 and is batting .152 with runners in scoring
position during its 2-14 overall skid.
The Astros could hard a time again Wednesday versus Padres
starter Clayton Richard (6-10, 3.83 ERA). The left-hander is 4-3
with a 2.68 ERA over his last seven starts, allowing more than
three earned runs just once in that stretch.
Richard, who threw seven innings of one-run ball during a 1-0
loss at Houston on June 27, suffered another hard-luck defeat
Friday in a 2-1 road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He gave up
two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings.
“It’s disappointing to throw well and just come up a little bit
short,” he said. “I just want to continue to progress and keep on
getting better as a starting pitcher, get deep into games and give
our team a chance to win.”
Richard will be opposed by Wandy Rodriguez (7-7, 3.51), who
wasn’t very sharp Friday in his first outing following the All-Star
break, allowing four runs and seven hits over six innings of a 5-1
loss at San Francisco.
The left-hander had gone 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his previous
four starts versus San Diego before surrendering five runs in 6 2-3
innings of Houston’s 8-7, 10-inning loss June 25.
Despite going 3-3 with a 5.23 ERA over his last nine outings,
Rodriguez’s name continues to come up in trade rumors. He appears
likely to be moved prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade
It’s unknown if Rodriguez will have to face Carlos Quentin. The
San Diego left fielder, who made his season debut May 28, has
missed the last two games with soreness in his surgically repaired
right knee. Quentin batted .322 with seven homers in his first 26
games, but is 5 for 37 (.135) with one home run in his last 10.