Major League Baseball News
Pads continue homestand against lowly Pirates
Sep 17, 2007, 15:04 GMT
- The NL wild card-leading San Diego Padres will continue a 10-game homestand tonight with the first of four straight games versus the Pittsburgh Pirates at Petco Park.
The Padres opened the stand with a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants and recorded a 5-1 win in Sunday's series finale. Ace Jake Peavy was brilliant through 7 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and a run, with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
Josh Bard homered and drove in two runs and Kevin Kouzmanoff added three hits with an RBI for San Diego, which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia in the wild card standings and two games behind Arizona for the NL West lead.
San Diego will also host Colorado for three games during the homestand at Petco Park.
Taking the ball for the Friars tonight will be rookie Jack Cassel, who will make his second career start and fourth-ever appearance on the mound. Cassel is 0-0 with 4.66 ERA this season and last pitched on September 13 at Los Angeles.
The right-hander hurled a scoreless inning of relief in a 6-3 loss at Dodger Stadium. Cassel is taking the place of struggling starter Justin Germano and has never faced Pittsburgh in his career.
Pittsburgh lost the last two contests of a three-game series at Houston, including Sunday's 15-3 pummeling at Minute Maid Park. Jack Wilson, Jason Bay and Carlos Maldonado all homered for the Pirates, who have lost three of their last five games.
Bucos starter Paul Maholm pitched just 2 2/3 innings and surrendered 10 runs on 11 hits with no walks and one strikeout. The left-hander had skipped his previous scheduled start due to a lower back strain.
John Van Benschoten gets the nod for the Pirates this evening and he is 0-5 with a 10.86 earned run average in eight games (seven starts) this season. Van Benschoten did not record a decision the last time out on September 6 at St. Louis and yielded five runs and six hits in 1 1/3 innings of a 16-4 loss.
Van Benschoten, a righty, has never faced San Diego in his brief career.
San Diego won two of three games against Pittsburgh at PNC Park from May 29-31 this season. The Padres are 11-5 in the last 16 encounters with Pittsburgh.
© 2007 The Sports Network