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Padres take aim at season sweep of Marlins

Cory Luebke attempts to win his third consecutive decision ever season sweep of Florida Marlins at Petco Park.

Luebke beat the New York Mets on Tuesday, holding them to a run and three hits over six innings. He also struck out five and walked three and improved to 5-6 on the year, while lowering his earned run average to 2.99.

"He threw more changeups than the last time we saw him," the Mets' Justin Turner said of Luebke. "He got one up to me, but the change of speed got me out."

This will be his first-ever start against the Marlins, who will counter with right-handed Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez snapped a five-decision losing streak and won for the first time in 12 starts on Tuesday in Colorado, as he allowed three runs and five hits in eight innings to run his record to 7-6 on the year to go along with a 3.97 ERA.

"I waited a long time for this game," said Sanchez, who earned his first win since June 10. "I had to work hard today. In my last start, it was terrible. I didn't try to do anything extra. I just wanted to have a lot of command today."

Sanchez, who was 0-5 with a 5.31 ERA over the drought, was coming off his worst big league outing, lasting just 1 2/3 innings in a loss to the Braves on Aug. 10.

He lost to the Padres back on July 19 and is 0-2 in three starts against them, despite a 2.45 ERA.

San Diego continued its season-long mastery of the Marlins on Saturday, as Nick Hundley had four hits, including a two- run homer, and fell a triple shy of the first Padres cycle while sparking a 14-1 rout.

Orlando Hudson added two hits, including a three-run homer, and Kyle Blanks added a solo blast for the Padres, who have won four of their last five overall, including all three games of this four-game series so far.

The Padres have also won all six meetings with Florida this season.

Hudson and Blanks went back-to-back in the first inning against Marlins starter Clay Hensley (1-5), who was torched for seven runs in just 3 2/3 frames to remain winless in his last six outings.

"I felt pretty good tonight for the most part, felt like I was making some good pitches but any pitch that was remotely up got hit," said Hensley. "Any mistake I made I just didn't get away with."

Meanwhile, Aaron Harang (12-3) remained unbeaten in four starts after giving up one run on three hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked five.

The Marlins fell to 2-14 in their last 16 games and allowed 14 runs to the Padres for the second time this season. They dropped a 14-3 game at home on July 20.

San Diego has scored in the first inning of all six games against Florida and has outscored the Marlins 16-1 in the opening inning.

"It's getting embarrassing," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "Before we get to the second inning, we're behind three or four runs. It gets kind of old."

The Padres, who haven't recorded a four-game sweep since turning the trick on Pittsburgh in September of 2007, swept a three-game set from the Marlins back in July and have won 12 of their last 15 overall against them.

Prior to today's finale the Padres will retire former closer Trevor Hoffman's No. 51 jersey.

Hoffman, the all-time saves leader (601), will be just the fifth Padre to have his number retired. He'll join Steve Garvey, Randy Jones and Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Tony Gwynn among San Diego's immortals.