05/11 Padres Preview: Game 35 @ Rays

USA TODAY Sports

Burch Smith will make his major league debut.

The Padres will try to bounce back today and even up the series in St. Petersburg. Burch Smith will be making his Major League debut against the Rays in place of Clayton Richard. Smith's dominance in the minors this season prompted the Padres to promote him to the major league level. This season he made just six starts in Double-A San Antonio and went 1-2, but collected 37 strikeouts and pitched to the tune of a 1.15 ERA for the Missions.

Smith will have quite a task ahead of him in his debut today, as he'll be pitching against a team that has averaged 6.5 runs while batting a collective .297 over a 12-game stretch.

The Rays will send Jeremy Hellickson to the hill and hope he'll have better luck than his last outing. He tossed three scoreless innings with a 7-0 cushion before giving up three runs. The bullpen wasn't any help as they gave away the rest of the lead and then some. The Blue Jays went on to beat the Rays 8-7. But last night it was Tampa Bay that came back from behind to take the series opener from Edinson Volquez after San Diego started with a 3-0 lead.

This will be Hellickson's first career start against the Padres, who are now 16-19 and 4 1/2 games out of first place after going 10-4 in their last 14 games.


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