The Padres continue their road trip this afternoon as they go from one first-place team to another. After their series win in Atlanta, anchored by a strong performance from Tyson Ross yesterday, they will send Andrew Cashner to the mound today to open up their four-game set in Pittsburgh.
Cashner has pitched better than his 9-8 record shows in 24 starts this season. As a starter, he's pitched 149 2/3 innings with a 3.37 ERA and collected 105 strikeouts. He's given up three runs or fewer in each of his last ten starts, a stretch in which he went 4-4 with a 2.78 ERA. That includes a loss at home against the Pirates. He gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings of work on August 19th. Prior to this season he had only pitched three innings of relief against Pittsburgh, going 0-2 in those outings, so he'll be looking for his first win against them tonight.
Opposing Cashner this afternoon will be A.J. Burnett. The right-hander helped the Pirates win each of his last five starts, but he is coming into tonight's matchup off a couple of rough road starts. He went 1-1 while giving up a combined 10 runs (all earned) in just 9 1/3 innings. Burnett is 2-5 with a 4.44 ERA all-time against San Diego. He has one of his best career outing against the Padres last month when he limited them to one run on four hits while striking out seven in seven innings of work at Petco Park.
The Pirates won two of those three games in San Diego in August, but they have only won three times in the last 19 meetings with the Padres at PNC Park. Tune in as they kick off the series today at 4:05.