The Padres have a chance to win their third straight home series, but they’ll have to contend with Santana as they conclude a three-game set with the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
A 4-2 loss Tuesday to New York (27-26) snapped San Diego’s three-game winning streak. The Padres (31-21) managed one run and four hits off Mets starter Mike Pelfrey(notes), one night after opening this series with 19 hits in an 18-6 victory.
Winning in the series finale would still give San Diego its third straight home series win after losing five of its previous six games at Petco Park.
The Padres’ lineup could get some help in the form of Jerry Hairston (strained left hamstring), who has been on the disabled list the past two weeks, but is now close to being activated.
Hairston has six homers in 32 games after matching a career high with 17 last year.
If he plays, he’ll have to face one of the majors’ hottest pitchers. Santana (4-2, 3.03 ERA) is 1-0 with a 0.91 ERA over his last four starts.
“With the 1-2 punch of Johan and Mike, I mean, it gives us a good chance to win two out of every five days,” Mets third baseman David Wright(notes) said. “You know that when those two guys take the mound they’re going to give everything they have and keep you in the ballgame. They expect to pitch deep in the game and dominate.”
Santana didn’t receive a decision in his best start of the season, giving up three hits in eight shutout innings as the Mets lost 2-0 to Milwaukee on Friday night.
The left-hander is 2-2 with a 2.41 ERA in five starts versus the Padres.
San Diego will counter with Clayton Richard(notes) (4-3, 3.03), who won four straight decisions before his outing Friday, when he allowed four runs in seven innings of a 5-3 loss to Washington. The left-hander had posted a 1.71 ERA in his previous three starts - all wins.
Richard won his only previous start against the Mets, surrendering three runs and striking out five in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-3 victory Aug. 6.
Nick Hundley(notes) is expected to be Richard’s batterymate after Yorvit Torrealba(notes) was placed on the restricted list Tuesday. Team officials say Torrealba is expected to be away for at least three days as he tends to a family matter.
Torrealba and Hundley have been splitting time behind the plate for the Padres. Hundley is 9 for 12 with a homer and seven RBIs in his last four games.
Wright swinging a hot bat for New York, going 7 for 10 with a homer and three RBIs over his last three games after hitting .150 (9 for 60) with 22 strikeouts in his previous 16.
Shortstop Jose Reyes - a .139 hitter in 19 career games at San Diego - saw those struggles continue Tuesday. He went 0 for 5 to snap a nine-game hitting streak, and was caught stealing for the first time in 22 attempts versus the Padres.