05/24 Padres Preview: Game 50 vs. Cubs

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Stauffer's start last night couldn't have gone much better. With a fantastic appearance on the mound and an incredible offensive showing from our Padres, the series against the Cubs is even at a game apiece. Tonight they'll try to get the advantage in the series as they turn to 30-year-old righty Billy Buckner in his San Diego debut.

Buckner wasn't with a team during Spring Training, but he signed with the Padres on April 19th and since then has made five starts with Triple-A El Paso. He's 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA in that stretch. Prior to this season, Buckner had collected 23 career starts and 20 relief appearances with four different major league teams. As Corey Brock reported, that experience is one of the reasons the team decided to call on Buckner for the spot start this time around, in addition to being able to keep Donn Roach in the long reliever role

"He's done this before. His experience, in his career, popping him in there, mentally we won't have any issues," Black said.

Pitching opposite Buckner will be Travis Wood, who is coming off an All Star 2013 season, but has had his struggles this year. The southpaw posted a 4.91 ERA over his first eight starts of 2014, but put up a strong performance his last time out. After walking three to begin the game last Sunday, Wood settled down and kept the Brewers to two runs on two hits and no additional walks, striking out seven batters through seven frames.

But San Diego will try to keep Wood's season an inconsistent one with another productive night on offense. Last night's 11 runs were a season high as all but one starting position player got in on the action. Game 3 is set for 7:10 PDT, so tune in to see if our boys can keep the runs coming and make Buckner's return to the big leagues a successful one.

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