San Diego (36-30) at Minnesota (37-27)

Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Fri Jun 17, 2005
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The San Diego Padres hope their struggling offense can catch fire against baseball’s top pitching staff when they begin a three-game interleague series with the Minnesota Twins.

San Diego has lost four straight, including a 3-1 setback at Detroit on Thursday. The Padres have scored 20 runs over the last 10 games and are batting just .214 in that stretch.

Dave Roberts led off the game with a homer Thursday, but the Padres managed only three hits the rest of the way in their eighth loss in 10 games.

“Our hitting woes continued and it’s borderline ridiculous, to be honest with you,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. “To be shut down this long, it’s disappointing and it’s frustrating.”

It won’t get any easier against Minnesota, which leads the majors with a 3.44 team ERA.

The Padres will try to solve Twins starter Carlos Silva, who is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA over his last five starts.

Silva gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings in a 5-3 win at the Los Angeles Dodgers last Saturday. It was the first time in 11 starts that Silva failed to last at least seven innings after he hurt his knee while batting in the fifth.

“I felt like a little twist in my knee, but I don’t think it’s anything bad,” Silva said. “I feel a little sore in there. I told the manager and the pitching coach that I wasn’t throwing my pitches the same way the last two innings. I didn’t want to hurt my arm, and that’s why I stopped.”

Silva is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA against San Diego in six career appearances, including one start.

The Padres are hoping that some of their slumping hitters can come alive. Catcher Ramon Hernandez is batting .212 (11-for-52) over his last 14 games and second baseman Geoff Blum is 0-for-18 in his previous six.

Hernandez is leading the team with a .280 average.

The Twins have dropped five of seven, including a 14-7 loss to San Francisco on Thursday. Reliever Joe Nathan retired just one batter in the ninth, allowing four runs and one hit while walking three as Minnesota surrendered seven runs in the inning.

San Diego is visiting Minnesota for the first time. The Padres lost two of three at home on June 6-8, 2003 in the only previous series between the clubs.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Stauffer Min vs. C. Silva NYY
3-6 Record 9-8
5.33 ERA 3.44
49 K 71
29 BB 9
1.49 WHIP 1.17