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04/05 Padres Preview: Game 5 @ Marlins

Two strong pitchers will battle it out at Marlins Park.

Steve Mitchell

Our Padres are off to a rough start this season, going 1-3 in their first four games. Tonight they'll look to improve on that and even up the series in Miami. Opening Day starter Andrew Cashner will make the start and try to follow up his 2014 debut with another strong performance. Last Sunday Cashner threw six innings of one-run ball en route to the only Padres win of the season so far. He kept the Dodgers to just four hits, issuing two walks and striking out five. Last year he had two great outings against Miami, going 1-0 while allowing two runs and striking out seven.

Our offense managed to get three runs on the board to back Cashner on Opening Day, but in each of the three games since then they've only put together two runs or less, dropping all three while being outscored 16-5. Chase Headley is batting an abysmal 1-for-16 to start his season. Yasmani Grandal and Jedd Gyorko both came into the Marlins series hitless but they each got two hits yesterday, with one of Gyorko's hits driving in a run. Over these first four games, San Diego has combined for eight runs on 24 hits for a team .192 average. They'll need more than that if they're going to have a chance of beating tonight's Miami starter, Jose Fernandez.

As the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, Fernandez' expectations coming into the season were high. He helped lead the team to a 10-1 victory on Opening Day, allowing just one run (on a solo shot) while walking no one and striking out nine batters in six innings of work. One of his 12 wins last year came against the Padres and it was one of his best starts of the season. He dominated, keeping San Diego's offense to just two hits and  walk while striking out 10 through eight scoreless frames.

That game is part of the four-game losing streak our Friars have in Miami. They've been outscored 25-5 in that stretch, including last night's 7-2 loss. The Marlins have started their season strong, going 4-1 while hitting .315 and totaling 35 runs over their first five games. It's a small sample size, but their offensive performance as a team so far is a far cry from 2013, when they ranked last in the league in batting (.231) and runs scored (513 total on the season, 3.17 per game).

Game 2 will get underway at 4:10 this afternoon.