06/15 Padres Preview: Game 68 vs. Arizona

USA TODAY Sports

Jason Marquis, undefeated in his last nine outings, will make an unexpected start tonight to try to extend the Padres' winning streak to five as the Diamondbacks hope for another quality start out of Wade Miley.

Eric Stults led the Padres to an exciting win in a pitcher's duel with Trevor Cahill last night. And it brought the team one game closer to the .500 mark. The Padres haven't reached .500 all season. In fact, the last time they did was on April 10, 2011. Tonight, they'll get the chance to do it again as they send Jason Marquis - in a switch with Clayton Richard - to the mound for game 2 of the series.

Thanks to the off day on Thursday, the Padres were able to switch up the rotation to allow Marquis to start tonight's game on normal rest. He and Stults have been the most reliable pitchers for San Diego all year. He's 5-0 in his last six starts at home and has won seven straight decisions to bring his season record to 8-2 and he's coming off one of his better outings. His last time out was in the series opener against the Braves. He allowed just two runs on five hits in 7 2/3 solid innings against the NL East leaders, and he'll try to repeat that performance tonight against the NL West leaders. Marquis has faced the Diamondbacks once already this year. On May 3, he tossed six innings and allowed three runs on four hits and five walks as the team went on to win 7-6.

The Padres will need another strong performance from its starter tonight, especially if the offense continues to slump the way it has lately. Over the four game win streak, batters are hitting just .214 and have struck out 31 times while leaving 18 men on base. In a turn of events, it has been our starting pitching that has kept us in games lately. There have been a few bright spots on offense, however. Everth Cabrera has hit safely in each of his last three games and has scored three runs during that stretch. Logan Forsythe has been taking advantage of his opportunity to fill in while Jedd Gyorko is on the DL. He's hitting .333 with a home run and five RBI during the four-game winning streak and his 2-RBI single last night was the deciding factor in the game. Cabrera has hit 6-for-11 with a home run and Forsythe is 2-for-3 with a home run against tonight's starter, Wade Miley.

Miley is 1-4 with a 7.52 ERA in six career starts against the Padres. That includes two losses last month alone. Over those two games, he allowed 11 runs on 16 hits while combining for just 8 2/3 innings. He tossed a season-low 3 2/3 innings in the most recent of the two games on May 25th, allowing seven runs en route to a 10-4 loss. But he comes into tonight's matchup having pitched back-to-back quality starts, over which he's gone 1-0 while the Dbacks have gone 2-0.

However, Arizona is just 2-4 over their last six games. Martin Prado will look to continue his success against Marquis. He is a lifetime 7-for-15 with a double and a home run against the right-hander. Willie Bloomquist is 4-for-9 and Eric Chavez is 3-for-7 with a double and homer. But Miguel Montero has given Marquis the most problems, hitting 6-for-18 with two doubles, three home runs, and eight RBI. Tonight manager Kirk Gibson will return from his one-game suspension following the brawl against the Dodgers. He'll try to lead his Dbacks back to the win column and even up their season series against the Padres.


Next Game

Arizona Diamondbacks
@ San Diego Padres

Saturday, Jun 15, 2013, 7:10 PM PDT
Petco Park

Wade Miley vs Jason Marquis

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.

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