Up-and-down Padres seek better effort vs. Marlins

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A recurring theme for the San Diego Padres showed up again on Tuesday.

Play a good game like their 6-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Monday. And then follow it with a horrible game like their three-hit, three-error, 3-0 loss to Miami on Tuesday. They will look to bounce back on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series.

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The Padres have scored 10 or more runs in 13 games, but Tuesday marked the 11th time they were shut out.

“We’ve not been able to follow up good games,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said after the latest defeat. “If I could explain it, I’d tell you.”

Meanwhile, the Marlins were thrilled to get the win on Tuesday. They had lost five of their previous six games, and they were set to face Padres ace Blake Snell, the major league’s ERA leader.

“We needed this,” Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “A really good day.”

The Marlins go into the rubber match with the 2022 National League Cy Young Award winner as their starter. And the Tuesday win pulled Miami within one game of the third and final National League wild-card position.

The main downside for Miami was left fielder Avisail Garcia exiting due to a hamstring injury.

“We’ll find out how bad it is (on Wednesday),” Schumaker said. “It’s not ideal.”

The Padres need a win Wednesday afternoon just to break even at 5-5 on their longest homestand of the season. San Diego is 5-11 in its past 16 games, with every loss making the odds of returning to the playoffs that much longer.

Now the Padres will count on right-hander Seth Lugo (4-6, 3.92 ERA) against the Marlins‘ Sandy Alcantara (6-10, 4.11). Originally, Rich Hill was scheduled to start on Wednesday, but not only was Hill pushed back to pitch Friday in the series opener at Milwaukee, but he might be used in relief behind Pedro Avila.

Lugo tossed six shutout innings and fanned nine in his most recent start, on Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He got a no-decision, but the Padres won for the first time in one of his outings since July 21. San Diego is 3-10 in the past 13 games started by Lugo, but he allowed more than two earned runs in just four of those contests.

Alcantara seems to be recapturing his Cy Young Award form of 2022, when he went 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.980 WHIP in 32 starts. His WHIP is up to 1.181 this season. However, he fired two complete games in his past five starts and is 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.842 WHIP during that stretch. In that span, Alcantara beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

The Padres got to Alcantara for four runs on five hits and five walks in 6 1/3 innings in Miami on May 30. Alcantara is 2-1 against San Diego in four career starts with a 2.16 ERA, a 1.160 WHIP and a .196 opponents’ batting average.

Lugo was on the injured list with a calf strain when the Padres and Marlins first met this season. He is 3-1 lifetime against the Marlins as a New York Met. In 32 appearances (five starts) against the Marlins, Lugo has a 3.00 ERA, a 1.070 WHIP and a .221 opponents’ batting average.

—Field Level Media

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