Our Padres start their last interleague series at home this season tonight against the Royals.
A late-inning offensive surge yesterday gave us our second series win in a row. Cory Luebke made an impressive debut as a starter by pitching five scoreless, allowing just one hit and striking out five. But the team couldn't score early enough and he ended with a no-decision. Neither team was able to put up any runs on the board until late in the game. The Braves scored the first run of the game in the top of the eighth and it looked like we were going to lose yet another one-run shutout. But our boys were able to come up big in the bottom of the eighth, putting up four runs against Atlanta reliever Jonny Venters and giving Mike Adams the win. Heath Bell followed that up in the top of the ninth by pitching a scoreless inning to get his 20th save of the season.
We hope to keep it a winning homestand tonight against the Royals. Mat Latos will start tonight for our Padres. In his last outing, he threw a career-high 120 pitches in 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on ten hits while striking out eight. This will be his third interleague start of the season and he will attempt to make it his first interleague win of the season. He will have to do it without catcher Nick Hundley, who is having some elbow pain, and Anthony Rizzo, who is being given the night off.
The Royals will send Jeff Francis to the hill. In his 11 career starts at Petco Park, he is 3-6 with a 5.25 ERA. He used to dominate in San Diego and was even instrumental in the decision to widen the batter's eye at Petco Park because of the way his arm movement took the ball outside the batter's eye in 2004. However, this will be his first time pitching as a Royal, as all his previous starts in San Diego were as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Also, San Diego has handed Francis more losses than any other team despite the success he experienced early in his career against us.
The Royals have yet to record a win at Petco Park, and we will attempt to keep it that way as we keep the ball rolling in this homestand. We've won four of our last five games played, won our previous two series, and in general have just been playing better ball lately. We need to continue to do so in order to have some movement in the NL West standings and keep our season alive.
GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!
6/27 vs. KC: Denorfia RF, Bartlett SS, Headley 3B, Ludwick LF, Guzman 1B, Maybin CF, Hudson 2B, Johnson C, Latos P