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04/23 Padres Preview: Game 20 vs. Brewers

Will Carlos Quentin's return prove fruitful for the Padres offense? Can Clayton Richard help put an end to the losing streak?

Mike Stobe

Although the Padres' hitting woes continued last night, the scoring drought ended when Jedd Gyorko came home on a fielder's choice. Tonight San Diego will try to take a step further and put an end to their losing streak. They will turn to Clayton Richard to even up the series against the Brewers. Flu-like symptoms made Richard a late scratch on Saturday, but he is ready to take on Milwaukee in game 2 of the series. In his last start, he kept the Rockies to just two hits in six scoreless innings, but got a no-decision for his effort. Richard has struggled against the Brewers on the road, but has been very successful against them at Petco Park. In two career starts at home against Milwaukee, he is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA. It's a very small sample size, but an encouraging thought coming into tonight's matchup.

What's not so encouraging is the Padres continued problems at the plate. During their four-game losing streak, they have only scored four combined runs while hitting an abysmal .190 against opposing pitchers. They are 1-6 at Petco Park this season, having lost six straight since beating the Dodgers in the home opener. Through those six losses, opponents have outscored them 32-17. The last time the Padres lost that many home games in a row was during the ill-fated 2010 season.

However, tonight will mark Carlos Quentin's return to the lineup after serving his eight-game suspension. This will be the first time this season we will see both Chase Headley and Quentin in the lineup together, and it could mean an improved offensive front for the Padres. Quentin is batting just .194 through ten games this season and is still seeking his first home run of 2013. But hopefully his eight days off will prove to have been for the better.

Yovani Gallardo will be the first test for this reunited Padres offense. A week ago, Gallardo was arrested and cited for a DUI. On Thursday, he took the mound in Milwaukee and had his best start of the season. Against the Giants, he gave up just one run on five hits and a walk. He also struck out six in his six innings of work and even helped himself out on the offensive side with a two-run homer. Gallardo is 3-2 all-time against the Padres and 2-1 in three starts at Petco Park. Chase Headley has given him some trouble in the past, hitting 5-for-12 with a homer against him. But Gallardo will feel confident going to the mound with the Brewers offense he has backing him up.

Ryan Braun, despite struggling earlier this season, once again had no problem hitting at Petco Park last night. He hit a two-run blast, his fourth homer in five days, in the first inning and added another RBI later in the game with a single to left. During the Brewers' now eight-game winning streak, Braun has hit five home runs and collected 13 RBI and the team has outscored opponents 46-24.