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08/19 Padres Preview: Game 125 vs. Pittsburgh

Andrew Cashner will try to lead the Padres to their third straight win as he opens up the series against the Pirates.

Denis Poroy

After splitting the series with the Mets, the Padres will now welcome the Pirates to Petco Park for a three-game set before the off day on Thursday. The NL Central leaders have been struggling as of late, losing seven of their last eight games to whittle their lead down to just one game over the second-place Cardinals. The Padres, 16.5 games out of first place in the NL West, are just looking to stay in the win column as they send Andrew Cashner to the mound to make his first career start against Pittsburgh.

Cashner has lost both of his last two starts, giving up three runs in each. However, he's only gotten three total runs of support in those starts. Prior to that he had won three straight starts while receiving 20 combined runs. The right hander has been much better at home this season, posting a 2.50 ERA at Petco Park compared to a 4.97 ERA on the road. However, he has been tagged for two losses against the Pirates as a relief pitcher, so he'll be looking to redeem himself as a starter tonight.

Pittsburgh will send lefty Francisco Liriano to the hill to try to keep Cashner from recording his first win against them. Liriano is coming off a fantastic performance against the the Cardinals. He threw a four-hit complete game and gave up just one run as the Pirates went on to win 5-1. But one start prior to that, Liriano served up a career-high ten runs on 12 hits against the Rockies at Coors Field, lasting just 2 1/3 innings. In his only career outing against San Diego, as a member of the Twins rotation, he surrendered three runs in seven innings of work.

The action begins at 7:10 tonight.