Cashner pitches Padres to 5-4 win over Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The five runs the San Diego Padres scored against the Los Angeles Angels must have seemed like five dozen to Andrew Cashner, who has been waiting quite a while for his teammates to reward him for his consistent pitching.
Justin Upton and Matt Kemp hit two-out RBI singles in the seventh inning and Will Middlebrooks had a two-run homer to help give Cashner all the support he would need as the Padres beat the Angels 5-4 on Wednesday night.
''It was awesome,'' Cashner said. ''We had a lot of big hits tonight. Will hit the big home run and we put together a lot of good at-bats against them. When I had the lead early in the game, I thought I could have made some better pitches. But our defense really picked me up tonight with some big plays and our offense was swinging the bats really well.''
Cashner (2-7) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings and struck out six in the rubber game of the interleague series. The right-hander, making his Angel Stadium debut, had received only three total runs of support in his previous six starts since beating the Chicago Cubs 5-2 on April 19.
''Cash has been pitching his butt off and we hadn't been scoring runs for him, so we really wanted to get a W for him tonight,'' said Middlebrooks, who opened the scoring with an RBI double.
Manager Bud Black added: ''Cash, for the most part, has pitched well enough to win a number of games - and he's pitched much better that his record indicates. At the end of the day, Cash is about the team and team wins. But it's always nice to have a win by your name - and his won-lost record will definitely improve.''
Cashner handed a 5-3 lead to Brandon Maurer, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Kole Calhoun in the eighth before Craig Kimbrel got three outs for his 12th save in 13 attempts. Pinch-hitter Johnny Giavotella singled with two outs in the inning and tried to stretch it into a double, but Kemp threw him out from right field.
''I was trying to get in scoring position with two outs,'' Giavotella said. ''Against a guy like Craig Kimbrel, you need to get in scoring position because it's going to be really hard to get a couple of hits back to back. I don't regret going, and I'd do it again if I had the chance.''
Garrett Richards (4-3) was charged with five runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings on his 27th birthday. Both San Diego runs in the seventh were unearned, after the right-hander committed his second fielding error of the game when he mishandled a sacrifice bunt to the left of the mound by Austin Hedges after a leadoff walk to Alexi Amarista.
Richards came in with a 3-0 record and 0.80 ERA against National League clubs, spanning 14 appearances and seven starts.
''I'll be over it by tomorrow, but it's a tough one to swallow,'' Richards said. ''I'm just going to have to change my mix.''
Rookie Chris Perez drove in the Angels' first two runs with single in the second inning and a double in the fourth. Matt Joyce hit a solo homer that briefly tied the game in the sixth.
Padres center fielder Will Venable did Cashner a huge favor with a diving catch in left-center on Erick Aybar for the third out in the seventh, one night after he robbed Mike Trout of a home run.
''Defense a lot of times is underrated and it can bring a lot of energy to the dugout. And Will brings that every night with the way he plays defense,'' Black said. ''We've talked about his catch in San Francisco, the one in Washington and other catcher through Will's time here. That was a really good one tonight - and the one last night obviously speaks for itself.''
Richards, who has yet to allow a first-inning run in eight starts, fell behind 1-0 in the second when Derek Norris doubled and scored from third on Middlebrooks' double into the left field corner. That ended a string of 25 consecutive scoreless innings by the right-hander during interleague play - the longest in Angels history.
BAD NEIGHBORHOOD TO BE IN
Richards, whose 2014 season ended prematurely with a knee injury that occurred in August while he was covering first base at Fenway Park, dropped a short toss from 1B Albert Pujols after a grounder by Yangervis Solarte in the third inning, but it didn't result in any runs.
Angels: RHP Cory Rasmus, recovering from abdominal surgery, is in the process of throwing simulated games in Arizona at the team's spring training facility. He might be able to begin a minor league rehab assignment within the next week. ... Manager Mike Scioscia said RHP Mike Morin's return from a left oblique strain will be a matter of weeks and not days. ... OF Collin Cowgill wasn't in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game because of an injured right hand.
Padres: RHP Ian Kennedy (2-4) will start the opener of a four-game series against Pittsburgh at Petco Park, as San Diego continues a stretch of 20 consecutive games in Southern California.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson (2-3) opposes Buck Farmer in the opener of a four-game series against Detroit at the ''Big A.'' The Tigers have lost 13 of their last 16 games against the Angels.