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.