The San Diego Padres dropped two of three to the worst team in the majors over the weekend before helping their current opponent snap a six-game losing streak.
There is little doubt that the second half of the season will be a very long one for the last-place team in the NL West.
Sputtering San Diego seeks only its fifth win in 25 games this month Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
This figured to be a trying season for the rebuilding Padres (38-62) but remaining competitive became more difficult in June when ace Jake Peavy(notes) was lost to a right ankle and No. 2 starter Chris Young was put on the disabled list a week later with right shoulder inflammation.
While those injuries have contributed to San Diego ranking 15th in the NL in ERA, an anemic offense has been the bigger problem.
The Padres are last in the majors with 363 runs and a .230 batting average. They have scored three or fewer runs 14 times in their last 18 games and are a major league-worst 4-20 in July.
San Diego was able to exceed three runs in Monday’s series opener as Adrian Gonzalez(notes) hit his team-leading 26th home run while Everth Cabrera(notes) and Kevin Kouzmanoff(notes) also went deep in a 6-4 loss.
Gonzalez has been the team’s most consistent threat all season, but he entered this series batting .177 (17 for 96) with one homer in his last 30 games.
“That can be, at times, devastating,” Padres manager Bud Black told the team’s official Web site. “That one today came back to hurt him.”
“This was a big game for us - coming home, winning at home, getting some good starting pitching,” Gomes said. “We got everything we needed that was lacking.”
Kevin Correia(notes) (6-8, 4.84 ERA) looks to rebound from his worst start of the season for the Padres. The right-hander matched a season low by lasting 3 1-3 innings Thursday in a 9-4 loss at Philadelphia and was tagged for eight runs and nine hits with three walks. He had limited opponents to six earned runs over 17 2-3 innings in his previous three outings.
Correia improved to 3-0 with a 4.45 ERA in six starts against the Reds with a strong seven-inning performance in a 5-3 victory at Petco Park on May 15.
After pitching 16 scoreless innings in back-to-back starts, Bronson Arroyo(notes) (10-9, 5.21) wasn’t nearly as sharp Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was charged with five runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings, leaving one batter before Nick Masset(notes) surrendered a grand slam to Manny Ramirez(notes) in a 6-2 loss.
That outing continued a very inconsistent season for Arroyo, who has allowed five runs or more in half of his 20 starts. The right-hander, though, leads the Reds in wins and has two of the staff’s four complete games.
Arroyo gave up three runs over seven innings May 17 against the Padres but was outpitched by Peavy in a 3-1 loss. He is 4-5 with a 3.95 ERA in nine starts versus San Diego.
Kouzmanoff is 9 for 13 with two homers against Arroyo.