Padres' late innings written by a shaky 'pen

Padres' late innings written by a shaky 'pen

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Eight games is a small sample size, but it is safe to say the bullpen is not off to the start the Padres wanted.

After 27 2/3 innings, Padres relievers have given up 13 runs (11 earned) on 22 hits and 11 walks. The bullpen has given up runs in seven of the season's first eight games and was unable to hold leads in two losses.

Last season, San Diego's bullpen had an ERA of 2.73. So far this year, the ERA is 3.58.

Right-hander Shawn Kelley gave up three runs when the Padres trailed by two runs Monday night and has a 15.00 ERA after three appearances. Brandon Maurer also gave up a run Monday as the bullpen yielded four runs in three innings.

The bullpen was not San Diego's lone problem Monday.

Utility man Yangervis Solarte's second error at as many positions in three games led to four unearned runs charged to Andrew Cashner. And the Padres had two runners thrown out on the basepaths.

Trumbo scores on error

San Diego has committed six errors in eight games and is tied for third in the Major Leagues with seven unearned runs allowed.

Notes from the scorebook

• Because all four runs he allowed Monday night were unearned, Cashner set a Padres record Monday night. Cashner has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 19 straight starts at Petco Park dating back to June 11, 2013. The streak is the second-longest active streak in the Major Leagues (Miami's Joe Fernandez has gone 20 straight starts since he last allowed more than two earned runs at Marlins Park). Cashner is 6-7 during the streak, with a 1.38 ERA.

• Cashner's nine strikeouts Monday night tied for the second-highest single-game total in his career. That gave San Diego starters 51 strikeouts on the season, the highest in the Major Leagues. James Shields ranks second in the National League in strikeouts, with 15 in two starts.

• Left fielder Justin Upton is one of three Major Leaguers who have a hit in all eight games this season, joining the Giants' Nori Aoki and Oakland's Billy Butler. Dating back to last season, Upton has a hit in 10 straight games. Upton is 9-for-30 (.300) this season with two doubles, a triple and a homer for five RBIs.

• Switch-hitting Solarte is 5-for-12 with a double and three RBIs in three straight starts -- Saturday night at first base against Madison Bumgarner while subbing for Yonder Alonso and the past two days at second for the struggling Jedd Gyorko. Solarte's 7-for-19 start gives him the highest batting average (.368) on the Padres after eight games.