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D'backs at Padres Preview
Jack Cassidy, STATS Writer
6/27/2015
(AP) -- The San Diego Padres have not won consecutive games in three weeks, and will rely on one of their most disappointing starting pitchers to accomplish the feat Saturday night.

Stuck in a monthlong slump, Andrew Cashner takes the mound looking to regain his top form against the team he most recently struggled against, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Cashner (2-9, 4.35) had a 3.00 ERA through his first 10 starts, posting a 1.27 WHIP for San Diego (36-40). But in his last five, the right-hander has a 7.62 ERA and 1.85 WHIP.

He's failed to reach 100 pitches in his last four, with Sunday's four-inning stint in which he allowed seven runs - three earned - over four innings in a 7-2 loss to Arizona (35-38) registering as his shortest of the season.

"You make your own breaks," Cashner told MLB's official website. "I have to stop the bleeding at some point."

Perhaps most surprising during Cashner's recent skid has been the lack of strikeouts. After punching out 12 batters on June 1, Cashner has failed to strike out six in any of his four starts - a feat he managed in eight of his first 11 outings.

He struck out 4.80 batters for every walk up until his last four outings, when he has 14 walks to 11 strikeouts.

"It's one of the toughest stretches I've been through for sure," Cashner said. "You just have to show up, put it behind you and keep going forward."

He'll follow Tyson Ross, who held the Diamondbacks for two hits in six innings of a 4-2 win on Friday. Paul Goldschmidt drove in both Diamondback runs, but was outdone by RBIs from Matt Kemp, Yonder Alonso and Justin Upton.

The Padres last won consecutive games during a four-game streak June 2-6, and have gone 7-12 since.

"We're not on all cylinders by any stretch of the imagination," said interim manager Pat Murphy. "We're real pleased ... that was an overall great game tonight."

Unlike his counterpart Saturday, Arizona's Jeremy Hellickson (5-4, 4.94) has been a vision of consistency in recent weeks. The right-hander has allowed two runs in six innings five times in his last seven starts, and posted exactly that stat line in Sunday's win over Cashner.

Hellickson left after only 84 pitches due to a back injury, but felt no discomfort in this week's bullpen sessions.

"Monday morning really was the only day I had trouble - just getting out of bed," Hellickson said. "I haven't really felt anything since then."

Hellickson's first two meetings with the Padres did not go as smoothly, as he was smacked around for five runs over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-1 loss on April 14, then again allowed five runs and was chased after 4 2-3 of a 6-5 defeat May 8.

Goldschmidt has hit safely in seven straight and is 6 for 17 with a home run against Cashner. He has reached base in 67 of 73 games this season and 25 of his last 26 against San Diego.


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