The San Diego Padres are fading in both the NL West and
wild-card races and they are running out of time to find answers to
their frustrating offensive struggles.
The slumping Padres will try to avoid a fourth straight loss
Wednesday night when they continue their series against the Chicago
San Diego (87-70) lost 5-2 Tuesday to fall 1 1/2 games behind
wild card-leading Atlanta and two games back of San Francisco in
the division. The Padres visit the Giants for three games beginning
Those games may not matter if San Diego’s offense remains as
anemic as it has been this month. The Padres had four hits, three
errors and stranded five Tuesday, one night after they lost 1-0 to
the Cubs (72-85).
They have scored four runs in the last three games and have
averaged 2.9 in the last 12 while going 5-7.
“Here’s the deal – we know where we are. We’ve got to play good
baseball,” manager Bud Black said. ”We’ve got to get the bats
going. We have to score some runs and hopefully we break out
tomorrow and this could get contagious through the lineup. We have
to play good defense, we have to do everything to win a game. And
that’s what we’ve done the entire year.”
The offense has been hurt by the absence of Will Venable, who
has missed the last two games with back stiffness. The outfielder
was hitting .477 with 11 runs scored over 14 games prior to his
Venable went on the disabled list earlier this year with a
similar issue. For now, however, he is considered day to day.
“I was hopeful (to play) today and it didn’t come around as much
as I thought it was going to,” he told the Padres’ official
website. “(The trainers are) right in the sense that if I go back
out too early, it’s going to run too high a risk of setting me back
and then I’m no good to anyone.”
After ace Mat Latos failed to deliver, San Diego will turn to
Chris Young (1-0, 1.20 ERA), who is scheduled to make his fourth
start of the season and third since coming off the disabled list
earlier this month.
Young gave up one run and three hits in five innings of a 4-3
win over Cincinnati on Friday, throwing 72 pitches before leaving
without a decision. Young went four innings in his previous
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in six starts against
the Cubs, including 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in three at home.
Alfonso Soriano homered twice, including a tie-breaking, two-run
shot in the sixth, to help the Cubs win their eighth straight on
the road. They’ve allowed 16 runs during the streak, the team’s
longest away from home since a nine-game run July 23-Aug. 15,
The Cubs will hand the ball to Randy Wells (8-13, 4.28), who
looks to win his third straight start.
Wells gave up six hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-0 win over San
Francisco on Wednesday. In his previous start, he allowed one run
in eight innings of a 7-2 victory over St. Louis.
“We’re playing some good ball right now, everybody is loose,
everybody is having fun. We wish it wasn’t too late, but we’re
trying to build for next year and everybody is responding pretty
well,” Wells said.
The right-hander was outstanding against the Padres on Aug. 17,
giving up one run and three hits in seven innings of a 1-0