Blue Jays-Padres Preview

The San Diego Padres’ Jon Garland and the Toronto Blue Jays’

Shaun Marcum both received poor run support at the beginning of

this season but rebounded with dominant stretches.

The two starters have experienced their share of frustration

this month.

The good news for Garland and Marcum is they have a chance to

break out of their respective slumps in Monday night’s opener of a

three-game series at Petco Park.

Garland (6-4, 2.81 ERA) was given two runs over his first three

outings and started 0-2. He bounced back with a six-game win streak

and a 1.73 ERA over his next eight starts.

The right-hander’s run ended June 5 in Philadelphia as he gave

up six runs and 10 hits over seven innings of a 6-2 loss. He then

came out on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat Thursday against the Mets

as his teammates managed only one hit in the finale of a

doubleheader.

“I thought Jon threw the ball fine,” manager Bud Black told the

Padres’ website. “He just got outpitched.”

Garland is hoping for better support against the Blue Jays, a

team he’s 11-2 against in 16 career starts.

Marcum, meanwhile, got nine runs while going 0-1 over his first

five starts, but went 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA in six May starts. This

month, he’s 0-2 with an 8.03 ERA.

The right-hander gave up five runs and 10 hits over a

season-high 8 1-3 innings June 2 against Tampa Bay but followed

with an even worse outing versus the Rays on Wednesday. Marcum was

tagged for seven runs and 10 hits over four innings of a 10-1

defeat – his first road loss this season.

“I went back in and looked at the film. I made some pretty good

pitches. They found a way to put a barrel on the ball,” Marcum told

the Blue Jays’ website.

Given his team’s recent hitting struggles, Marcum might not have

much room for error in his first start against San Diego (37-26).

He could be in for a tough duel with Garland, who is 3-0 with a

1.15 ERA at home this season.

The Blue Jays (34-30) have batted .163 and been outscored 41-13

over their last seven games. Adam Lind’s 4-for-33 slump over the

last 10 contests has played a part, and Vernon Wells is 2 for 18

(.111) during the team’s 1-5 start to their nine-game road

trip.

Toronto scored its only runs in Sunday’s 10-3 loss at Colorado

in the third inning, but the Rockies matched the Blue Jays’ output

in the bottom of the frame en route to a three-game sweep.

The Padres, meanwhile, just missed out on sweeping Seattle this

weekend as they couldn’t build on Tony Gwynn Jr.’s inside-the-park

home run in a 4-2 defeat Sunday.

Luke Gregerson gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth to snap a

13 2-3 inning scoreless streak, but the Padres’ bullpen still

boasts a major league-best 2.53 ERA and a 1.10 mark over the last

15 games.

“We feel good at the game goes on in a close game,” Black told

the Padres’ website.

Black’s club has also felt good at Petco lately, having won four

straight home series and seven of 11 this season.

The Padres dropped two of three at home in their only previous

matchup with the Blue Jays from June 18-20, 2004.