Padres go for sweep, but are 0-8 in finales

Notes on Cashner, Myers, Kemp, Rodney

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

For the fourth time this season, the Padres will be going for a series sweep Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park.

But recent history says it might not be easy.

The Padres have a 6-3 record in the first games of series this season. They are 5-4 in the second games of series after Tuesday night's come-from-behind 6-3 win over the Rockies.

But they are 0-8 thus far in series finales (and 0-1 in the third game of a four-game series).

This will be the second straight series where the Padres have gone for the sweep, meaning they have won four of their last five games.

Only five Padres struck out Tuesday night, ending a run of eight straight games that saw Padres hitters strike out 10 or more times.

The back-to-back homers by Matt Kemp and Brett Wallace in the fourth inning was the second set of back-to-back homers by the Padres this season. Derek Norris and Adam Rosales went back-to-back April 19 against Pittsburgh at Petco Park. The Padres have had three consecutive homers four times in franchise history.

The Padres are 19-5 against Colorado in the last 24 meetings of the National League West rivals at Petco Park. Padres pitchers have posted a 2.45 ERA in those 23 games and the bullpen has a 0.98 ERA.

The top four hitters in the Padres lineup were a combined 7-for-14 Tuesday night. The top three hitters -- Jon Jay, Wil Myers and Matt Kemp -- are 11-for-23 in the first two games of the series and have scored seven of the Padres eight runs with five RBIs. The bottom five hitters were 2-for-18 Tuesday night.

Padres starting pitchers have a 2.79 ERA over the last 20 games dating back to April 12. And over the last four starts, Padres starters have a 1.60 ERA, allowing seven runs on 25 hits and 12 walks with 25 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings over five straight quality starts.

Notes from the scorecard

• After another slow start Tuesday night, right-handed starter Andrew Cashner turned in his third quality start in his last four outings and evened his record at 2-2. Cashner's first-inning ERA this season is 9.00 (nines, six earned, in six innings). His ERA after the first is 3.80. After needing 57 pitches to get the first six outs Tuesday, Cashner got the final 12 outs in 51 pitches. He retired 11 of the last 13 hitters he faced.

• Kemp is 5-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs in the first three games of May. Last season, he had 21 hits, no homers and 10 RBIs for the entire month of May. Kemp's eight homers this season matches his total for the first 88 games last year. He has a career .315 average against the Rockies with 40 doubles, seven triples and 40 home runs. His 40 home runs are the third-highest total all-time against Colorado.

• Right-handed closer Fernando Rodney has yet to allow an earned run after 10 1/3 innings in 10 appearances. He has six saves and has allowed six hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts.