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Game Preview: Game 126 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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Thankfully for us, and our Padres, only one inning of bonus baseball was needed last night and we were saved from a possible repeat of the Pirates' 19-inning marathon just a few nights ago. And with first pitch set for 3:35 today, that wouldn't have been fun for anyone.

Today our boys go for the sweep so they can enjoy their off day tomorrow to the fullest. Our offense will go up against James McDonald, who boasts an 11-5 record on the season. He is coming off a great start in St. Louis. He threw six shutout innings against the Cardinals, limiting them to two hits while striking out seven to earn the win. However, in the six starts prior to that, he had racked up an ERA of 8.71. One of the worst of those starts was against our Padres. He surrendered seven runs on seven hits, blowing the six-run cushion that the Pirates gave him and going on to take the no-decision as our Padres ended up winning 9-8.

Chase Headley was a major factor in that win. He hit the three-run homer that tied the game, then later hit the go-ahead two-run shot from the other side of the plate. Headley also highlighted last night's offensive output by hitting the walk-off home run that won the game. The two-run bomb to right field redeemed Headley after a rough night at the plate that included two strikeouts and a groundout with men in scoring position. It also added to his successful 2012 record against the Pirates. It was his fourth home run, as well as his 10th and 11th RBI, in five games against Pittsburgh this season.

Everth Cabrera has also been hot on offense. Since moving to the leadoff spot, he is hitting 8-for-16 with two stolen bases, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Today he'll make his fourth straight start as the leadoff hitter and hopes to continue his success in that role. With Will Venable and Headley hitting behind him, we should expect to see some good offensive production at the top of the order and some run support for starter Andrew Werner.

Werner will be making his major league debut today, taking Ross Ohlendorf's spot in the rotation and becoming the 14th different starting pitcher used by our Padres this year. After starting the season in Double-A San Antonio, where he went 4-8 in 18 starts, he was promoted to Triple-A Tucson, where he went 1-2 in four starts. With Ohlendorf being optioned to Tucson, Werner is getting a surprising shot with the big league club. His last start for the TuPads wasn't a strong one. Werner himself called it his worst of the year. He was tagged for eight runs (five earned) in only 4 1/3 innings. But Bud Black credits him to be an aggressive pitcher who throws a lot of strikes. Hopefully that aggressiveness will pay off today and make this a memorable welcome to the majors.

Current Series

Padres lead the series 2-0

Mon 08/20 WP: Edinson Volquez (8 - 9)
SV: Dale Thayer
LP: Kevin Correia (9 - 8)
3 - 1 win
Tue 08/21 WP: Miles Mikolas (2 - 1)
LP: Daniel McCutchen (0 - 1)
7 - 5 win

Pittsburgh Pirates
@ San Diego Padres

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012, 3:35 PM PDT
Petco Park

James McDonald vs Andrew Werner

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

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