Padres-Brewers Preview

The San Diego Padres are surging behind on offense finally showing signs of life.

Now, they'll try to end the best stretch of Jimmy Nelson's career.

Yangervis Solarte looks to build on one of his best performances as the Padres go for a ninth win in 11 tries Tuesday night against Nelson and the Milwaukee Brewers.

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San Diego (52-54) is in the NL wild-card chase despite a .240 average that ranks third-worst in the majors. The Padres, though, are batting 40 points higher while connecting for 12 homers with 5.2 runs per game during an 8-2 stretch.

They collected 13 hits and scored six times in the seventh to pull away in Monday's 13-5 win at Milwaukee in the opener of a four-game set.

"Having balance up and down the lineup is huge. When we're all clicking everyone saw what we are capable of," said Jedd Gyorko, who had a homer among his three hits Monday and is batting .458 in the past six games.

Solarte is going for a career-high 10-game hitting streak after connecting for a career-high two homers and matching his personal-best with four RBIs on Monday. He's batting .421 with seven extra-base hits during his run.

"His energy and the spirit about him is just wonderful," manager Pat Murphy said. "You can never estimate how much that means to a club."

Solarte has a .417 average with three homers and nine RBIs while getting at least one hit in each of his seven career meetings with Milwaukee (44-63).

He's 0 for 3 against Nelson (8-9, 3.76 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 0.99 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 27 1-3 innings over his last four starts. The right-hander hasn't allowed a run for 14 straight innings after striking out eight and yielding two hits in seven while not figuring in the decision of Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

"It was nice to string together some good outings and be more consistent," Nelson told MLB's official website. "I was able to get ahead, for the most part. Times when I went 1-0, I was able to make a quality pitch."

Nelson allowed four runs - two earned - with seven strikeouts in five innings of a 4-1 loss at San Diego in his only career start against the Padres on Aug. 26.

He enters this one trying to keep the Brewers from losing a seventh straight game for the first time since May 23-30.

The Padres are turning to Andrew Cashner (4-10, 4.13), who is 0-2 with a 5.60 ERA over his last six road starts, giving up a career-high seven runs three times.

The right-hander was hammered for that many in 5 1-3 innings Thursday, but the offense got him off the hook by scoring seven times in the final three innings of an 8-7 win over the New York Mets.

Cashner is 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA in nine games against the Brewers. However, all three of his starts have come at Miller Park, where he's 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA.