Maurer's run demands ASG consideration

Alonso, Venable doing damage against left-handers

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

The push is on to get left fielder Justin Upton and catcher Derek Norris onto the National League All-Star team. But perhaps an even stronger candidate is right-handed reliever Brandon Maurer.

The 24-year-old right-hander continued his incredible run Tuesday night at San Francisco with two scoreless innings in the Padres' 3-2, 11-inning win over the Giants.

In fact, Maurer was credited with the win, his fourth win in his last eight appearances. Maurer has been credited with four of the past seven Padres wins.

On the season, Maurer is 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 33 appearances. He has allowed six earned runs on 18 hits and nine walks with 28 strikeouts in 36 innings.

But that's just a part of it. Tuesday night was Maurer's 11th straight scoreless appearance (four hits and three walks allowed with 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Maurer has not allowed a run in 23 of his last 24 appearances -- allowing one run on 10 hits and five walks with 22 strikeouts in 26 innings, for a 0.35 ERA during the 24-appearance run. Since the start of May, Maurer's ERA has dropped three full runs from 4.50.

From the scorecard

-- Odrisamer Despaigne gave up two runs to the Giants on Tuesday night on five hits and two walks over five innings. He has now faced the Giants five times (four starts) in his career and is 2-0 with a 0.91 ERA. Giants hitters are batting .133 against Despaigne, who has given up three runs on 13 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings against the Giants. He is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Despaigne made his Major League debut at AT&T Park on June 23, 2014, and threw seven shutout innings.

-- Left-hander Cory Luebke made his first rehab appearance for Double-A San Antonio on Tuesday night and allowed a two-run homer in an inning. He gave up two runs on the one hit and two walks with two strikeouts. Luebke started his rehab with three, one-inning appearances with high Class A Lake Elsinore. If he rejoins the Padres after the All-Star break, he could become the long man in the bullpen.

-- Outfielder Will Venable tied the game with a two-run double against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday night. The left-handed Venable is 5-for-20 against left-handed pitchers this season while hitting .275 against right-handers. Venable is a career .230 hitter against left-handers and a .258 career hitter against right-handers. He hits a homer once every 45 at-bats against left-handers and homers once every 31 at-bats against right-handers.

-- Left-handed-hitting first baseman Yonder Alonso is hitting .364 (12-for-33) with a homer and nine RBIs against left-handed pitchers this season. He has also drawn four walks against left-handers for a .450 on-base percentage. Alonso is hitting .309 (38-for-123) against right-handers with a .401 on-base percentage. Ironically, he also has one homer and nine RBIs against right-handed pitchers this season.