The San Diego Padres have played relatively well on the road, just not this month. A trip to Pittsburgh could help them turn things around.
Coming off their latest losing road series, the NL West-leading Padres try to bounce back with a fourth consecutive victory over the Pirates on Friday night.
San Diego (55-39) is 25-20 on the road but has gone 3-6 while losing its last three series in July. The Padres lost two of three at Atlanta after an 8-0 defeat Thursday, dropping them one-half game behind the Braves for the best record in the NL.
The Padres have a chance to regain some road success at Pittsburgh, where they are 20-9 since the start of the 2001 season. San Diego has not lost a series there since July 28-30, 2000.
In order to maintain that success, the Padres may need to improve at the plate after scoring seven runs in Atlanta. San Diego averaged 8.7 runs in winning four in a row prior to that series.
Gonzalez, who went 1 for 12 with six strikeouts against the Braves, has hit four of his seven homers versus the Pirates at Pittsburgh. He is 1 for 8 against scheduled starter Paul Maholm(notes) (6-7, 4.03 ERA), who is 0-2 in three starts versus San Diego despite posting a 3.05 ERA.
The left-hander improved to 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last two starts after tossing a three-hitter in a 9-0 win over Houston on Sunday.
“I’ve had a couple bad outings, but I just told myself that was going to be it,” Maholm told the Pirates’ official website. “It was going to stop there.”
San Diego counters with Kevin Correia(notes) (6-6, 5.22), who tries to build on his first win since May 31. The right-hander was 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in seven starts before giving up three runs and striking out a season-high nine in six innings of a 6-4 win over Arizona on Sunday.
Correia is 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh. He allowed six hits in seven innings of a 4-0 win in his only start at PNC Park on Sept. 20.
After scoring 26 runs to win its previous two games against Milwaukee, Pittsburgh (34-61) was held in check during a 3-2 loss Thursday to split the four-game series.