Stults struggled again against the Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Issues At Plate Continue For Padres, Drop Sixth Straight on Road-Trip


One, two, three, four, five, six!

The Padres have now lost six games in a row on their current East Coast road-trip.  Worst of all is the fact that it does not appear that the team will put up much of a fight against the Washington Nationals during their upcoming series if their hitters cannot score more than two runs per game.

As competitive as yesterday’s 2-1 game was between the Padres and the Red Sox, today’s contest was a bit more of a rout as Boston trounced San Diego by a score of 8-2.

As much as I could rail against the Padres’ hitters and their inability to produce runs on a consistent basis, their woes certainly weren’t helped when Eric Stults’ rocky start put his team in a huge hole this morning.  The game was already 2-0 before Stults could record his first out, and Dustin Pedroia’s two-run double was the third of consecutive hit by the Red Sox to start the game.  Stults appeared to be in danger later in the inning with Pedroia on third, but he snagged a come-backer off of the bat of Mike Napoli and doubled-him off to escape unharmed.

The veteran left-hander ran into trouble again in the bottom of the second however when he surrendered a gopher-ball to Brandon Snyder on a hanging breaking pitch up in the zone.  Jose Iglesias then plated Boston’s fourth run of the game in the bottom of the fourth on a ground-rule double into the right field corner with two outs.  With a 4-1 lead and four innings in the books, the Red Sox had more than enough breathing-room to work against a team that has averaged one run per game over their last five.

Instead of feasting on Allen Webster, Boston’s rookie starter, San Diego’s veteran-heavy lineup continued their slumping ways.  Being stifled by the likes of John Lackey and Jon Lester is one thing, but to be absolutely put in-check by someone like Webster, at this stage in his career, was nothing short of pathetic.

The top of the third inning perfectly illustrated how San Diego’s hitters have been unable to manufacture runs with any consistency as of late.  The Friars managed to load the bases with zero outs and it appeared like they could crawl back into the game as they were only down 3-0 at the time.  Instead of cobbling a big inning against the flustered rookie though, the Padres proceeded to score only one run off of a Chase Headley sacrifice fly.

To their credit, Jesus Guzman and Will Venable did their part to kick-start San Diego’s stagnant lineup.  I was particularly impressed with Venable who recorded two hits and scored one run in his first game back off of a bothersome hamstring.  Guzman, who had thee hits himself, also appeared to be locked in as well.  A Guzman single closed the gap to 4-2 in the top of the fifth, but Boston’s lineup added another four runs as they did their part to pave the way for Webster’s first big league victory.

With the continuously increasing cushion, the Red Sox’s rookie right-hander cruised along and took advantage of San Diego’s desperate hitters.  Entering the game, Webster had an 0-2 record, a 9.50 ERA, and had only worked 18.0 innings in his four career starts!  Today however, Webster pitched six strong innings and worked himself out of some jams when his control escaped him.

Now sporting a 40-46 record, the Padres must find a way to get back on track.

As I alluded to before, things will not get easier for the team before the All-Star Break either.  Tomorrow, Andrew Cashner will likely have to pitch flawlessly against the Nationals now-healthy lineup to give his team a chance to end their six-game skid.

When will the losing-streak end?  I’m not quite sure.  But with Washington, San Francisco, and Colorado on the horizon before the All-Star break, the Friars might not win a game until the Midsummer Classic is in the books.




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Tags: Boston Red Sox Eric Stults Jesus Guzman San Diego Padres Will Venable

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