Tonight Andrew Cashner will try to bounce back after a disastrous outing against the Cubs last week. After keeping opponents to just three runs over his first two starts this season, Cashner let the Cubs get the best of him as he surrendered four earned runs (five total) in four innings of work at Wrigley Field for his second loss. That outing also included a career-high four walks, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch thrown by Cashner.
The right-hander has been unsuccessful in his short 2-1/3-inning career against tonight's opponents, the Marlins. He is 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA. Marcell Ozuna will be a batter to look out for in the Marlins lineup. Since being called up from Double-A Jacksonville last Tuesday to replace the injured Giancarlo Stanton, Ozuna has been riding a hot bat. Despite a career .274 clip, the 22-year-old rookie has hit safely in each of the six games he's played since the call-up, going 11-for-23 with four doubles and a homer.
Along with Ozuna's four-hit three-RBI performance yesterday, Marlins hitting as a whole went off in their win over Roy Halladay and the Phillies. They combined for 14 runs on 13 hits and six walks, as well as four hit batsmen. They did, however strike out ten times.
San Diego's offense is also coming off a relatively decent showing yesterday. Their 5-1 win over the Diamondbacks included the first set of back-to-back home runs of the year hit by Jedd Gyorko (his first Petco Park homer) and Will Venable. The Padres are averaging over five runs per game over their past six games and have won eight of their last 11 to improve to 13-18.
Tonight San Diego will battle a familiar face on the mound as Wade LeBlanc makes his return to San Diego to pitch against his former team at Petco Park for the first time. The Padres' second-round draft pick in 2006, LeBlanc made 52 starts and 2 relief appearances for the club between 2008 and 2011. He was sent to Miami in the 2011 offseason in a trade that brought John Baker to America's Finest City. He has struggled so far in 2013, going 0-4 over his six starts, each of which Miami has lost. He's given up four runs on eight hits in two straight outings and most recently gave away a 3-0 first-inning lead to the Mets last Wednesday for his second no-decision. But he also hasn't had the best run support from the Marlins lineup. He's kept opponent to four runs or less in five of his six starts this year but has gotten more than three runs from his offense only once.
LeBlanc's former teammate, Chase Headley is riding a 10-game hitting streak coming into tonight's matchup. During that span, he's hit 14-for-38 with five doubles, two homers, and six RBI. His infield mate Gyorko has been hot lately as well. Over his last 13 games, he's batting .340 with six doubles and two homers. Prior to that he was hitting just .210, but with some of the bigger bats back in the lineup now he's hitting with less pressure and seems to be coming into his own as his rookie season progresses.