Kansas City (29-48) at San Diego (42-37)

Fair Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 49° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 3, 2004
  • TV: RTN, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

San Diego starter Adam Eaton didn’t get off to the kind of start he had hoped for this season. But he’s doing his best to make up for it now.

Eaton looks to turn in another strong performance as the Padres resume their interleague series with the struggling Kansas City Royals at Petco Park.

Eaton allowed just one earned run and three hits in 6 1-3 innings of Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Seattle Mariners for his third win in four decisions this month. The right-hander improved to 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA over his last five starts since a six-decision losing streak.

“He’s throwing like Adam can,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ve said this many times, he’s a No. 1 type pitcher. He’s got great stuff. He throws hard, he’s got a great curveball, changeup, cutter; he’s got all the pitches.”

Eaton was selected in the first round of the 1996 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, and has spent all five seasons of his major league career with the Padres. However, Eaton, who underwent “Tommy John” elbow surgery in Aug. 2001, has never won more than nine games in a season and never posted an ERA lower than four.

He didn’t look much better at the start of this season, going 1-6 with a 5.92 ERA through May.

“Once things start going your way it seems that everything kind of snowballs,” Eaton said. “Earlier in the year it was an avalanche coming down on me. Now I’m able to dodge some of those snowflakes.”

The Padres beat the Royals 7-5 Friday for their ninth victory in 13 games. Phil Nevin had two homers, and Humberto Quintero, Brian Buchanan and Brian Giles also connected for San Diego.

The Padres had not hit five homers in a game since July 31, 2002 at Wrigley Field, and shattered their record of two homers at their new Petco Park.

Ken Harvey went 3-for-3 with a homer, and Matt Stairs also homered for the Royals, who have lost eight of their last nine.

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Starting Pitchers

D. May CIN vs. A. Eaton COL
9-19 Record 11-14
5.61 ERA 4.61
120 K 153
55 BB 52
1.55 WHIP 1.28