San Diego continues to have Miami’s number.
The Padres will look to make it five wins in as many games against the Marlins in 2013 on Saturday night.
San Diego (40-40) has dominated the season series on the strength of its pitching, posting a 0.75 ERA while holding Miami to a .205 batting average.
“We weren’t crisp,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said after his team left nine on base in its 9-2 loss to San Diego Friday. “We didn’t give them our best.”
Eric Stults (6-5, 3.20 ERA) was one of the San Diego pitchers to stifle Miami during the Padres’ home sweep of the Marlins earlier this season. On May 7, the left-hander held Miami to one run in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-1 victory.
Stults could use a little support from his teammates. Despite compiling a 1.83 ERA over his last six starts, the left-hander has won just twice. He has held opponents to a .201 average over that stretch and surrendered only three walks. Unfortunately for Stults, he has received two runs of support or fewer in five of his last six starts. That includes his last outing against Philadelphia on Monday, when he allowed two runs in seven innings but didn’t receive a decision in a 4-3 win.
“Stults has been, over the last six weeks, probably as steady as any major league pitcher,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official website.
The good news for Stults is the San Diego offense came alive Friday, scoring nine runs for its highest total since June 7. The Padres had been struggling without leadoff batter Everth Cabrera who has a strained left hamstring, batting .242 and averaging 3.5 runs in his absence before breaking out against Miami (27-51).
Logan Forsythe who had gone 31 at-bats without an extra-base hit, legged out two doubles Wednesday before recording three hits, including a home run, Friday. Will Venable meanwhile, snapped out of an 0-for-19 skid with three singles. The right fielder is 7 for 13 (.538) against the Marlins this season.
“We strung together some good at-bats,” Venable said. “We put the pressure on those guys and just kept it coming with the good at-bats and found some holes and just a good, all-around game for us.”
Miami, which had allowed three runs or fewer in 10 straight games leading into the series opener, will look to bounce back with Jacob Turner (1-0, 1.97) on the mound. The right-hander hasn’t won since his first start due to an offense that has given him just seven runs of support over his last four appearances. Turner failed to pick up a decision Saturday against San Francisco despite yielding one run over seven innings.
“I’ve been making those adjustments in starts,” Turner told the Marlins’ official website. “I’d say out of the starts I’ve had, I’d say maybe there has been one or two where I’ve felt everything is clicking. The other ones, I’ve felt like, ‘Hey, this is working, maybe this isn’t working.’”
San Diego won the opener of a 10-game road trip that also makes stops in Boston and Washington.
“It’s huge, especially with a 10-day road trip,” Forsythe said. “When you get that first one out of the way, it’s nice - a good confidence booster. You’ve got to ride it out for as long as you can.”