The San Diego Padres will look to ignite their sluggish offense on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series against the host Milwaukee Brewers.
The Padres had extended their winning streak to a season-high five games by capturing the opener of a three-game set versus Milwaukee on May 23. San Diego followed that up by scoring a combined 19 runs in the eight games since. They lost six of them.
“We’re just in one of those things where we’re just falling a little bit short,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said Wednesday after his team was swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. “It’s frustrating for us, but you just keep working to keep fighting your way out.”
San Diego enjoyed a fast start out of the gate as Jurickson Profar led off the game with a double and scored on Manny Machado’s single. The Padres were held in check from there, save for St. Louis native Luke Voit’s solo homer with one out in the ninth inning of a 5-2 setback to the Cardinals.
“I feel like it’s like leadoff hit, then groundout, groundout, strikeout,” Voit said of the Padres’ recent issues at the plate, per the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’ve got to find a way to scrap out a double.”
Padres left-hander Sean Manaea (2-3, 4.02 ERA) would welcome some offense from his teammates when he takes the mound for the series opener on Thursday.
Manaea, who is 0-2 in his past six starts, received his third straight no-decision on Friday despite allowing three runs on four hits in seven innings versus Pittsburgh. He has surrendered eight homers in his past seven outings.
Manaea, 30, did not pitch in San Diego’s previous series against Milwaukee. He lost his lone career encounter versus the Brewers after permitting five runs on six hits — including two homers — in seven innings in a June 2016 game while pitching for the Oakland Athletics.
Manaea will need to keep a close eye on Jace Peterson, who had two doubles, a triple and an RBI in the Brewers’ 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
Peterson is 6-for-13 with two homers and five RBIs and three runs in his past five games overall, however he went 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in the previous series versus San Diego.
Right-hander Adrian Houser (3-5, 3.69) will provide the opposition on Thursday for the Brewers, who are 14-6 at home this season.
Houser, 29, fell to 0-3 in his past four starts after getting blitzed for a career-high eight runs (five earned) in four innings of an 8-3 shellacking at St. Louis on Saturday.
“I just wasn’t able to hit a lot of spots,” Houser said of that performance. “I didn’t really have good command (on Saturday) and they put some good swings on mistakes I made and that’s what they’re supposed to do.”
Houser received a no-decision in his most recent meeting with San Diego, yielding one run on three hits in six innings on May 23. He is 0-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 19 strikeouts in five career appearances (four starts) versus the Padres.
–Field Level Media