The San Diego Padres have yet to win a series this season and will get a chance tonight versus the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a three-game series from Petco Park.
The Padres evened this set at a game apiece with last night's 2-0 victory behind seven shutout innings from Edinson Volquez and a pair of scoreless innings from relievers Andrew Cashner and Huston Street. Cashner posted the victory and Street nailed down his fourth save for a San Diego club that scored the only runs of the game on Mark Kotsay's pinch-hit two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning off of Francisco Rodriguez.
"I've just seen (Rodriguez) too often to know that that breaking ball is devastating against right-handed hitters," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It was just one of those calls where I felt at that point (Kotsay) was a better matchup."
San Diego halted a three-game slide and won for the third time in its last eight tries. It will resume this nine-game homestand with visits from Miami and Colorado, and is 6-10 as the host.
Cory Luebke was expected to take the hill for the Friars tonight, but will be pushed back in favor of Jeff Suppan. Luebke is battling elbow soreness and is not expected to go on the disabled list. Suppan gets the start for the first time since October of the 2010 season and spent some time with Triple-A Tucson before his promotion. The former Brewer split time with Milwaukee and St. Louis in the 2010 campaign and was dealing with a triceps injury.
Suppan, a right-hander, spent the entire 2011 season pitching in Omaha, the Kansas City Royals' Triple-A affiliate. He is 12-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 22 career games (20 starts) against the Brewers.
One day after Ryan Braun blasted three homers and a triple to lead Milwaukee past the Padres in the series opener, the Brewers' bats were dead on Tuesday.
Braun went 1-for-4 and both Corey Hart and Alex Gonzalez had the other hits, as the Brewers lost for the fourth time in six tries and had a two-game winning streak come to an end. Shaun Marcum was solid on the mound with seven scoreless innings, but Rodriguez was victimized by Kotsay's homer in the eighth inning to absorb the loss.
"Usually in a tight ball game they have the good pitching so they are usually low scoring games and it comes down to who gets the big hit," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of the Padres.
The Brewers are 2-3 on a nine-game road trip and will visit San Francisco for three games after tonight's ballgame. They are 5-7 away from Miller Park.
Supposed Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo hopes to right the ship when he takes the mound tonight. Gallardo led the Brewers in wins (17), ERA (3.52) and strikeouts (207) last season, but is only 1-2 with a 6.08 earned run average in five starts this season.
Gallardo, a right-hander, lasted only two innings in his previous start on Friday during a 13-1 drubbing at the hands of St. Louis. He was rocked for eight runs and eight hits with three K's and two walks. Gallardo will face the Padres for the fifth time in his career and is 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA in the first four appearances.
San Diego lost three of five meetings with Milwaukee last season.