Lawrence starts opener vs. Marlins

Padres try to rekindle road success

The Padres, one game under .500, but still in first place in the National League West, begin a six-game road trip Tuesday in Florida against the Marlins.

The Padres, who were swept in a three-game weekend series by the Phillies, will turn to Brian Lawrence to try to right their ship.

After a six-week stretch of solid work, Lawrence has gone 1-6 in his past eight starts. He gave up eight runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Mets last week.

"I think we're all ready to get out there [on the road], and especially get rid of Philly," said Lawrence, who is 6-12 on the season. "Hopefully we are going to go out and continue where we left off on the last road trip."

The Padres went 5-1 on their most recent trip, scoring 44 runs in taking two of three from Pittsburgh and sweeping Washington.

The Marlins will go with left-hander Jason Vargas, who is 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA.

Dontrelle Willis and Josh Beckett will pitch the second and third games of this series for the Marlins, while the Padres will counter with Woody Williams and Jake Peavy.

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Brian Lawrence
• 6-12, 4.80 ERA in 205
• 0-0, 6.35 vs. FLA in 2005

FLA: LHP Jason Vargas
• 3-0, 2.38 ERA in 2005
• Has never faced SD

Player to watch
Miguel Olivo has three homers in 12 games with the Padres.

"I firmly believe that the team that wins this division will be over .500." -- Padres manager Bruce Bochy, on the NL West

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television
SD: Channel 4, Cablemas

On radio:
SD: XPRS, XEMO (Español)
FLA: WQAM 560, WQBA 1140 (Español)

Quick hits
Shortstop Khalil Greene, who suffered a non-displaced fracture in his big toe on his left foot on Sunday, could be out two to three weeks. ... Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman is one save from tying John Franco (424) for second place on the all-time list. Lee Smith leads with 478. Hoffman is in the midst of a streak in which he's recorded a save in his last 27 chances, tied for the third longest streak of his career.

On deck
• Wednesday: at Marlins, 4:05 p.m. PT
• Thursday: at Marlins, 4:05 p.m. PT
• Friday: at Braves, 4:35 p.m. PT

Sandy Burgin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.