May 24, 2015

If it weren't for bad luck, poor defense and little run support, Andrew Cashner would have no luck at all.

The right-hander ranks among the NL leaders in ERA but hopes to avoid his MLB-worst eight defeat Wednesday night when the visiting San Diego Padres try to jump-start their offense against the Los Angeles Angels.

Aside from Sunday's 11-3 win over the Dodgers, the Padres have batted .187 and averaged 2.0 runs during a 3-8 stretch.

San Diego managed just five hits without pushing across a run Tuesday until finally breaking through in the 10th inning. Matt Kemp had a two-out, three-run double and Derek Norris added an RBI single in a 4-0 victory.

"Felt like we needed to win that game right there," said Kemp, who equaled his RBI total from his previous 15 games.

The Padres (22-25) are hoping to build on that productive inning as they attempt to close a six-game road trip with their first series win since opening May with a home sweep of Colorado.

However, no pitcher has been hurt by their scoring woes more than Cashner (1-7, 2.89 ERA), who has the 11th-best ERA in the NL. He's limited opponents to two runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts but has dropped his past five decisions while receiving three runs of support. The Padres haven't helped Cashner out defensively either, as he's been tagged with 12 unearned runs.

Cashner did not get a decision Friday despite limiting the Dodgers to an unearned run over six innings in a 2-1 road loss.

''We've wasted a lot of his outings,'' said Kemp, who had two hits Tuesday after going 3 for 25 over his previous seven games. ''We need to score him some runs and make it a little more comfortable for him.''

Cashner will try to avoid taking over the MLB lead in losses as he starts against the Angels for the first time. He did throw three scoreless innings over three relief appearances versus Los Angeles prior to 2013.

The Angels (23-23), who have dropped four of six, have hit .203 and totaled eight runs over their last four games.

Mike Trout is 3 for 16 over that span after Padres center fielder Will Venable robbed him of a two-run home run in the third inning Tuesday. David Freese is hitless in 15 at-bats in his past four.

''At some point, the runs are going to come,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We feel they're going to come.''

The Angels hope they can continue to rely on a rotation that has posted a 1.88 ERA in its last 17 home starts. Garrett Richards (4-2, 2.98) has been especially sharp at Angel Stadium, going 6-1 with a 1.97 ERA in his last 10 starts.

After going 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his previous five starts, the right-hander looks to regroup on his 27th birthday after giving up a season-high five runs while striking out only one over six innings in Friday's 12-5 win at Boston.

He's never faced the Padres, though Norris is 2 for 3 with three walks against him dating to his time with Oakland. Kemp, Justin Upton and Will Middlebrooks have gone a combined 1 for 12 in their matchups.

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