After being blanked in the series opener Monday, the San Diego Padres’ lineup may see a valuable addition Tuesday night.
The Padres (22-28) fell for the fifth time in six games Monday in a 9-0 loss, shut out by Seattle starter Aaron Harang while allowing a four-run first. San Diego managed only four hits off of Harang.
“They’re an aggressive team,” Harang said. “They’re going to go out swinging and I was able to get them to put the ball into play within the first couple of pitches a few times and didn’t get into the count too much early on.”
The potential season debut of Grandal might help spark the offense. Grandal was suspended for the season’s first 50 games after a November announcement that he tested positive for elevated testosterone.
“I understand the question related to his performance,” Byrnes said. “He has a long career ahead of him. Hopefully this was a lesson learned, and he can quiet any skepticism with quality play.”
San Diego’s catchers haven’t provided much of a lift. Nick Hundley and John Baker are a combined 10 for 74 (.135) in the month of May, though Hundley has hit safely in five straight games. Grandal’s .297 batting average ranked fourth among rookies who played in at least 50 games last season and he also had eight homers and 36 RBIs over 60 contests.
“You jump out early like that, Jason Bay did a great job of being aggressive and staying the middle of the field and just good at-bats after that from (Kyle) Seager to Morales and the big shot by Morse,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Prospect Nick Franklin also made his major league debut, walking in his lone plate appearance after entering the game as a late substitute at second base. The 22-year-old - the 27th overall pick in the 2009 draft was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma prior to the game as Dustin Ackley - the No. 2 selection in the same draft - was sent down. Franklin will start Tuesday’s game, according to the team’s official website.
He was hitting .324 with a .440 on-base percentage in 39 games with Tacoma this season.
Volquez (3-5, 5.76 ERA) received losses in his last two starts while allowing 10 runs over 11 innings. He mostly cruised for the first four innings versus St. Louis last Tuesday, then gave up four runs and six hits in the fifth inning alone.
“His first three innings, he pitched extremely well,” Black said. “First-pitch strikes, ahead in the count, good ball-strike ratio. They just strung some hits together in the fifth.”
Perhaps facing Seattle can help Volquez turn things around, as he’s 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in six games against the Mariners.
Maurer (2-6, 6.80), meanwhile, is 0-3 with an 8.36 ERA in his last three starts. He was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits over three innings in a 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.