The Marlins have lost the first two meetings in this series, three straight overall and 13 of their last 15 games. In Friday's 4-3 setback, Chris Volstad was saddled with the loss for giving up all four runs and six hits over five innings and struck out seven batters.
Jose Lopez led the offense with three doubles and an RBI, while Volstad tried to help his own cause by knocking in a run for the Marlins, who lost two of three meetings with Colorado to open their seven-game road trip. Florida went 1-for-12 with men in scoring position.
"We had five or six opportunities to knock in runs. We got to get production out of some of the guys we're counting on," said Florida manager Jack McKeon. "If we don't get production, we're hurting -- and we're hurting."
Speaking of hurting, Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton was not in the starting lineup because of a bruised left big toe suffered in Thursday's loss. Stanton is day-to-day and struck out as a pinch-hitter last night. Also, Marlins infielder Omar Infante is expected to be reinstated Saturday and has been on the disabled list since early this month due to a fractured bone in his right middle finger.
Infante is batting .279 with three homers, 34 RBI and 38 runs scored in 111 games with the Marlins.
Florida will turn to former Padre Clay Hensley tonight and he's 1-4 with a 4.53 earned run average in 26 games (6 starts) this season. Hensley is 0-2 in his last five appearances and did not record a decision in Monday's 7-4 loss at Colorado, where he allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings for a second straight time. He had the same line in a 4-3 loss at Atlanta on Aug. 9.
The right-hander owns a 1-3 record and 3.80 ERA in 12 games, three of which have been starts, as the guest this season. Hensley is also 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two career relief stints against San Diego, spanning three innings.
San Diego has won two straight and 10 of its last 16 games. Wade LeBlanc drew the start for the Padres last night and recorded a win with 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball. He scattered six hits, walked four and struck out three before five relievers kept the Marlins off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Heat Bell eventually got his turn in the ninth and recorded his 34th save and 67th in 70 opportunities since May of last season.
Kyle Blanks hit a two-run homer, Jason Bartlett and Cameron Maybin both had an RBI and Will Venable finished with a hit and two runs scored for San Diego, which is 3-2 so far on a seven-game homestand.
"We just want to get wins. And when we play as a team, we always seem to pull it off," said Blanks.
Toeing the rubber for the Padres this evening will be Aaron Harang, who is 7-1 with a 3.97 earned run average in his last 15 starts. The Padres are 10-5 in that stretch and received a subpar outing from him in Monday's 5-4 loss to the New York Mets in which the righty allowed four runs in five innings for the no-decision.
Harang is 11-3 in 21 starts to go along with a 4.08 ERA and hasn't won 12 games in a season since going 16-6 back in 2007 with Cincinnati. He won 10 or more starts from 2004-2007 as a member of the Reds.
The native of San Diego is 5-3 in 12 home starts this season and 4-3 with a unimpressive 6.82 ERA in 11 career starts against the Marlins. He defeated Florida at Sun Life Stadium in a 14-3 triumph on July 20, when he gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings of work.
The Padres swept a three-game set from the Marlins back in July and have won five straight and 11 of their last 14 overall against them.