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Wolf to kick off series against Yankees

Wolf to kick off series against Yankees

CLEVELAND -- Where would the Padres be without Randy Wolf? It's not a question manager Bud Black probably wants to even think about.

"[Wolf] and [Greg] Maddux have been the anchors of this staff since the first week of the season," Black said recently. "They're consistently pitching great ball -- keeping us in games, doing everything a starting pitcher needs to do. They're pitching great."

Wolf has really hit his stride over his past six starts, allowing three runs or less and throwing six innings or more in each of them. For the season, he is 5-4 with a 3.83 ERA heading into the start of an Interleague series Tuesday against the Yankees in New York.

"He's stepped up," said Padres catcher Michael Barrett. "Him and Greg have stepped up and have done a really good job of being the aces of the staff, both of them, at different times. They've stopped the bleeding a little bit going into the sixth or seventh inning and keep our bullpen as fresh as possible."

In his last start out, Wolf struck out nine and walked one in a victory over the Dodgers at PETCO Park.

"I don't want to say he's a typical left-hander. He throws 90-91 [mph], so that takes him away from the 'crafty left-hander,' " Dodgers' manager Joe Torre said. "He can throw a fastball up and a changeup down. He really keeps a hitter from locking down on a particular area. He changes that eye line good."

Wolf is looking to continue to put himself and his team in position to win by doing what he's been doing over his past several starts.

"I think the main thing is throwing all my pitches for strikes and being aggressive out there," Wolf said. "I think that is what has helped me out, really."

Pitching matchup
SD: LHP Randy Wolf (5-4, 3.83 ERA)
Wolf was sharp in his last start against the Dodgers on Wednesday at PETCO Park, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings in earning his fifth victory. It marked the fifth consecutive outing the left-hander allowed two or fewer runs. Wolf gained better command and confidence in his big curveball as the game went on and the Dodgers, a team Wolf played for last season, never caught on. Wolf has been a much better pitcher at home, winning four of his five games.

NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (6-5, 4.64 ERA)
Pettitte was a winner his last time out, hurling a season-high eight innings of one-run ball to beat the A's at McAfee Coliseum and wash away some of the bad taste left from his previous two starts, when he allowed 14 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings. The start gave Pettitte 170 victories for his career, tying him with Ron Guidry, but more importantly he avoided jams and was able to control his pitches better. Pettitte is 3-1 with a 2.74 ERA in four career starts against San Diego but has not faced the Padres since 2006.

Tidbits
San Diego designated hitter Tony Clark turned 36 on Sunday. He had a single and scored a run in the fourth inning against Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia. Clark shares his birthday with Padres director of international scouting Randy Smith. ... Entering the game Sunday, Padres pitchers led the National League with a 2.94 ERA in day games. ... Outfielder Brian Giles has a sore right shoulder after his check-swing on Friday. Giles didn't start Sunday but was available to play. Scott Hairston, Clark, Giles and catcher Michael Barrett likely won't play in the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown N.Y. on Monday. Hairston is still recovering from a hyperextended left elbow but was doing better Sunday.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• 4SD/704-HD

On radio
• XPRS 1090/105.7 FM , XEMO 860 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Padres (Jake Peavy, 5-3, 2.64) at Yankees (Darrell Rasner, 3-4, 3.64), 4:05 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Padres (Josh Banks, 2-0, 1.29) at Yankees (Joba Chamberlain, 1-2, 2.48), 10:05 a.m. PT
• Friday: Tigers (Eddie Bonine, 1-0, 10.13) at Padres (Cha Seung Baek, 1-2, 4.84), 7:05 p.m. PT

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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