San Diego and Florida each made trades a day before opening their series at Petco Park. While the Marlins’ move focused on the future, the Padres hope their latest acquisition can help maintain their success in the present.
With a 3 1/2-game lead in the NL West, San Diego (60-40) acquired the 36-year-old Tejada from Baltimore on Thursday for Double-A right-hander Wynn Pelzer.
Hitting .269 with seven homers and 39 RBIs, Tejada could play shortstop or third base for the Padres, who look to return to the postseason for the first time since winning division titles in 2005 and 2006. Tejada is a lifetime .315 hitter with 11 RBIs against Florida.
“I think he still has a lot to bring. He’s still a tough out,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We’re hoping that getting him in a pennant race and getting him on a winning team can energize him.”
The Padres try for a third straight win and 11th in 14 games after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 on Thursday.
San Diego now faces the Marlins for the first time since sweeping a three-game set at Florida from June 25-27. The Padres also played there in April and won the final two of that three-game series, but they’ve dropped four in a row and six of seven at home against the Marlins.
Florida also pulled off a major trade Thursday, sending slugger Jorge Cantu(notes) to Texas for a pair of Double-A pitchers during a 5-0 win over San Francisco on Thursday. Cantu had 10 homers and 54 RBIs, but his upcoming free agency made him a bad long-term fit for the Marlins (51-51).
They’re 7 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East but have won six of nine.
Florida scored 10 runs in its lone win over San Diego this year but has been held to eight in losing the last five meetings.
After going 0-4 in his previous six starts, the left-hander allowed three runs in six innings of a 6-3 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday for his first victory since June 12.
In his only appearance against Florida, LeBlanc allowed four runs in six innings but didn’t factor in the decision of a 7-4 win Aug. 29.
The Marlins counter with Chris Volstad(notes) (4-8, 4.76), making his second start since being recalled from the minors. He was sent down July 6 after a four-start stretch during which he was 0-2 with a 6.86 ERA.
The right-hander returned to Florida’s rotation Sunday, allowing three runs in six innings of a 5-4, 11-inning win over Atlanta.
“The biggest thing is just keeping my stuff in the strike zone,” Volstad told the Marlins’ official website. “I think (the problem) has been trying to make my stuff better than it needs to be.”
Volstad fell to 1-2 with a 6.14 ERA against the Padres after giving up three runs in six innings of a 3-0 loss June 25.