Padres rookie Eric Lauer fires five innings of one-run ball

SAN DIEGO– To this point, it has been an up-and-down rookie season for Padres starter Eric Lauer.

In his prior start against the Miami Marlins, he gave up five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of work.

In the start before that, the Ohio native held the Nationals to one run over six solid innings.

Prior to Saturday’s start against the Cincinnati Reds, Andy Green stressed a need for consistency and more conviction from the left-hander:

“It is conviction over perfection. Just throw every pitch with conviction and believe that you can have success,” the skipper said. “Just go out on the attack, and good things have happened when he has pitched like that.”

Lauer followed Green’s comments with a solid start, throwing five innings of five-hit, one-run ball. He struck out four and walked two, throwing 51 of his 87 pitches for strikes.

The only run that the Ohio native allowed came off the bat of catcher Curt Casali, who hit a 370-foot solo shot in the top of the second. Lauer did not record a 1-2-3 inning on the evening, but he did record his MLB-leading fifth pickoff in the top of the third.

One of the more encouraging signs from Lauer’s start was that his fastball velocity seemed to be up a tick. In the first few innings, the rookie reached 95 on the radar gun on occasion, mostly sitting 92-93.

His average fastball velocity on the evening was 91.2 mph. Five days ago against Miami, it was 89.5.