San Diego (66-81) at Pittsburgh (55-89)

Cloudy Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 18, 2009
  • TV: Ch4, FSPI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Rookies Luis Durango(notes) and Everth Cabrera(notes) are giving the San Diego Padres something positive to build on for next season.

The duo will try to help the Padres continue their success at PNC Park on Friday night in the opener of a four-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Durango scored from second on Cabrera’s RBI single in the 10th inning Wednesday, giving the Padres (66-81) a 6-5 victory over Arizona to salvage a victory from the three-game set.

Cabrera and Durango each collected three hits in the series finale. All of Durango’s hits came on infield singles in his first career start, and he stole second to set up Cabrera’s walkoff hit.

“There’s no doubt this guy is fast … that’s an understatement,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official Web site. “The thing about Luis is he’s hit everywhere he’s been. This guy has won batting titles. Time will tell (if he sticks in the majors) but he has that look in the eye. … He’s playing.”

The 23-year-old Durango was recalled from Double-A San Antonio on Monday after hitting .281 with 44 steals. Last season, the center fielder hit .328 in 110 games between two Class-A clubs after leading the Arizona Fall League with a .378 average.

Cabrera, a 22-year-old shortstop, leads San Diego with 23 stolen bases and seven triples.

Neither Durango nor Cabrera have played at PNC Park, but their team sure has enjoyed visiting. The Padres have won all eight series they’ve played at the stadium, which opened in 2001. San Diego’s last series loss in Pittsburgh came at Three Rivers Stadium from July 28-30, 2000.

Though the Padres lost the only series between the teams this season, dropping two of three in San Diego from April 24-26, they’ve won 12 of their last 17 games in Pittsburgh.

Tim Stauffer(notes) (4-6, 3.31 ERA) will take the mound against the Pirates (55-89) for the first time.

The right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts after losing his previous four with a 5.40 ERA. Stauffer yielded one run and three hits with four walks in six innings of a 3-2, 10-inning victory over Colorado on Saturday.

The Pirates have dropped 17 of 19 and appear to be nearly assured of a third consecutive last-place finish the NL Central.

They lost again Wednesday, 3-1 at Los Angeles, but manager John Russell found some solace from that three-game sweep as his team was outscored 14-7.

“I can’t ever say I’m happy about losing three games in a row, but you can’t say enough about how the guys battled,” Russell said. “We fell short in all three games, but you can’t fault the effort. We get into games like this, and unfortunately it comes down to one pitch or one play, and very good teams take advantage of that.”

Russell will give the ball to Charlie Morton(notes) (3-8, 5.35), who is looking to avoid a third consecutive loss. However, the right-hander is coming off a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings of a 9-1 defeat at Houston on Friday.

Morton won his only outing against the Padres, giving up one run in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-1 victory July 12, 2008.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Stauffer SD vs. C. Morton Pit
4-7 Record 5-9
3.58 ERA 4.55
53 K 62
34 BB 40
1.44 WHIP 1.46

Scoreboard

Friday, Sep 18