Padres Host MLB-Best Cardinals

nicholaslee
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Aug 19, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) drives in the game tying run on a fielders choice off of San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Josh Osich (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Giants 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres (59-62) host the best team in major league baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals (77-43). The Padres are coming off of their second sweep of the season against the Atlanta Braves. They are three games below .500.

The Cardinals are coming off a series win at home against the Giants. These two teams met in early July and the Padres won the first two games of the four game series. The Cardinals took the final two games for the series split. If the Padres can somehow sweep the Cardinals, they would be back to .500.

Game 1 Friday, 7:10pm

Andrew Cashner (4-12, 4.20 ERA) vs. John Lackey (10-7, 2.87 ERA)

Cashner is third in the NL in losses. He has a 4.67 ERA in three August starts so far. He allowed four runs on seven hits in just five innings in his last start against the Rockies. He is 2.70 ERA in 7 appearances against the Cardinals in his career.

Lackey nearly pitched a complete game his last time out, going 8 1/3 innings and allowing two runs. He is 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA in three career starts against the Padres.

Offensive Player to Watch: Melvin Upton Jr.

Melvin Upton was the star of the series against the Braves. He had a two-homer, 5-RBI night on Tuesday. He is hitting .350 in his last 6 games. In 16 plate appearances against Lackey, he has two home runs.

Game 2 Saturday, 5:40pm

Ian Kennedy (7-11, 4.20 ERA) vs. Carlos Martinez (12-5, 2.78 ERA)

Kennedy has a 2.89 ERA in three starts in August so far. He had an excellent start against the Rockies last time out, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing just one run. Kennedy has really struggled against the Cardinals with a 2-5 record and 8.31 ERA in 7 starts.

Martinez allowed four earned runs in five innings against Miami his last time out. He went 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run in his last start against the Padres. He had a 2.03 ERA in the month of July.

Offensive Player to Watch: Matt Kemp

Kemp is a week removed from the first cycle in Padres history. He has had a great week since. In his last 6 games, he is hitting .478 with two home runs and 7 RBI with a 1.351 OPS. He is 1 for 4 with an RBI against Martinez.

Game 3 Sunday, 1:10pm

Coli Rea (2-0, 4.22 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (14-4, 2.85 ERA)

Rea has won his first two starts of his major league career. He allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last start against the Braves. He is the 7th pitcher to win his first two big league starts in franchise history.

Wacha went 7 innings and allowed just one run against the Padres in his lone career start against San Diego. In his last start he went six innings and allowed just one run against the Giants. He has a 1.35 ERA in three starts this month.

Offensive Player to Watch: Stephen Piscotty

Piscotty is the Cardinals’ 24 year-old rookie outfielder that is hitting .348 with two home runs in his last 6 games. He has had to take on a bigger role due to all the injuries.

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