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Game Thread: 06/28 Padres @ Astros

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Reliever Andrew Cashner #34 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Reliever Andrew Cashner #34 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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With the Astros ahead in the series, our Padres will go for the split today in the series finale at Minute Maid Park.

Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for Houston, making his third start of the season. The lefty is coming off a complete-game victory over the Indians that marked his first major league win. He also pitched very well prior to that, in his major league debut against the Rangers, giving up just one earned run on four hits and four walks in five innings.

Andrew Cashner makes his second start, but first REAL start, for our Padres. In his debut as a Padres "starter," on June 9th, he was limited to a pitch count and threw just 2 1/3 innings (47 pitches) before handing the ball to Ross Ohlendorf. He allowed two hits, two walks, and a run while striking out five batters in his short time on the mound. Cashner then went down to pitch for the San Antonio Missions to stretch his arm out and increase his endurance to make his transition into the rotation. He made three starts for the double-A club, going 2-0 with 22 strikeouts. His last time out he put up a phenomenal performance, throwing six shutout innings and striking out ten batters. And with Anthony Bass joining the army of Padres relievers on the DL last week, it was clear that it was time for Cashner to return to the big leagues and try to take up a spot in the rotation for hopefully the remainder of the season.

Between his much-anticipated start and his return to his home state of Texas, this should be an exciting game for Cashner, and for us fans. Hopefully our offense can give him better support than they did yesterday with Clayton Richard, and we can get the split.

GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!