Aug 17, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The San Diego Padres (63-67) host the Texas Rangers (68-61). They are coming off of a tough series loss against the worst team in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Rangers have won four straight and are coming from a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. Texas is still very much in the playoff picture. They are three games back of the first place Astros in the AL West and currently occupy the second spot in the AL Wild Card race.
Game 1, Monday 7:10pm
Tyson Ross (9-9, 3.42) vs. Colby Lewis (14-6, 4.38 ERA)
Ross has come around nicely in the last month or so after a shaky first half. He went 6 1/3 innings and got the win after striking out 9 in his last start against the Nationals. He is 2-1 with a 3.56 ERA in August. He is 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA in 6 appearances against the Rangers.
Lewis allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings in his previous start against the Padres. He allowed four earned runs in five innings in his last start against the Blue Jays. He has a 4.22 ERA in 5 August starts.
Offensive Player to Watch: Yonder Alonso
Alonso is coming off of a three-hit game and is hitting .421 in his last 7 games.
Game 2 Tuesday, 7:10pm
Andrew Cashner (5-13, 4.05 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (11-9, 3.14 ERA)
Cashner has really struggled this year. He will finish August with a 1-3 record. In his last home start, however, he pitched shutout innings against the Cardinals. This will be his first career start against the Rangers but he does have a 2.88 ERA in interleague starts.
Gallardo has won three straight starts and has a 1.98 ERA in his last five starts. Because of his lengthy time with the Brewers, Gallardo has faced the Padres many times. He has five career starts at Petco Park with a 3-1 record and a 2.56 ERA.
Offensive Player to Watch: Matt Kemp
Kemp is hitting .333 in his last 15 games. He hit a two-run home run in Sunday’s win to give him 16 on the year. With a month left in the season, he has already matched his home run total for the first half of the season.
Game 3 Wednesday, 7:10pm
Ian Kennedy (8-12, 3.94 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (8-8, 3.69 ERA)
Kennedy has been hot lately. He has allowed just four earned runs in his last four starts. He posted a 2.30 ERA in the month of August. For some reason his ERA is a run worse at home than on the road this year.
Hamels is a native San Diegan and Rancho Bernardo High grad. He will be making his 6th start as a member of the Rangers. So far he is 2-1 with a 3.89 ERA. He pitches very comfortably in his hometown team ballpark. In 8 career starts at Petco Park, he is 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA.
Offensive Player to Watch: Adrian Beltre
Beltre is starting to build a Hall of Fame resume. He has 408 career home runs, 20 of them have come against the Padres. He is also hitting .429 with a home run in 7 at-bats against Kennedy.
The Padres’ goal should be to finish about .500 now that they are all but out of the playoff race. A series win here could go a long way in accomplishing that, with a big 4-game weekend series against the Dodgers coming up.
On a side note, Will Venable returns to San Diego after the trade a few weeks ago. After being drafted by the Padres in 2005 he spent his first 7 1/2 years as a big league player for the Padres. He played in 458 games at Petco Park.