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Padres looking for boost in production

Padres looking for a boost

SAN DIEGO -- Interleague Play continues for the Padres as the Twins make a visit to PETCO Park for a three-game series that begins Tuesday.

It marks the third time the two teams have met in the regular season and first in San Diego since 2003, the last season at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Twins won the American League Central Division title that season, while the Padres brought up the rear in the National League West, 36 1/2 games back of the Giants. But the Padres took two of three games from the Twins that year and stand even in the overall series after dropping two of three in Minnesota in 2005.

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Interleague Play has been tough on the Padres this season. Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Tigers ran San Diego's record against the AL to 3-9 this season and extended its winless streak to four in Interleague series in 2008.

After scoring 11 runs in the first two games against the Tigers, the Padres fell into a familiar problem of driving in runs Sunday. They went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, which is no surprise given that the Padres are near the bottom of a number of offensive categories. They are 15th out of 16 teams in the NL in team batting average, runs scored, RBIs, and slugging and on-base percentage.

The Padres had some larger than normal holes in their lineup Sunday, with Brian Giles and Kevin Kouzmanoff out. Giles has a right hamstring strain, while Kouzmanoff is nursing a sore back, but both players are expected to return for Tuesday's opener with the Twins.

Manager Bud Black juggled his lineup Sunday and inserted Chase Headley into the cleanup role, but the rookie went 0-for-4. On two occasions, Tigers manager Jim Leyland opted to walk Adrian Gonzalez intentionally to get to Headley. That put two runners aboard each time, but Headley was unable to convert, striking out on mid-90-mph heaters from Justin Verlander.

Black expects to see more of Gonzalez being walked as the season progresses.

"That is a sound strategy. He has been our most productive player," Black said. "That happens to good players."

Gonzalez, who homered Sunday to increase his NL lead in RBIs to 65, said he needs to capitalize.

"I just have to hit the fastball when I get it," Gonzalez said.

The Twins are coming to town with a six-game winning streak that includes a weekend sweep of the Diamondbacks. Offensively, the Twins are a bit of contrast with the third highest batting average in the AL. They are also fourth in runs scored and RBIs.

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Jake Peavy (5-4, 2.88 ERA)
Peavy got his first look at Yankee Stadium in his last start but had a rough go, as he allowed three runs on six hits and a couple of walks in four innings to take the loss. Since returning June 12 from the disabled list with a right elbow strain, Peavy is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA. In 15 Interleague starts, Peavy is 8-7, including one outing against the Twins when he allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings for a no-decision.

MIN: RHP Kevin Slowey (4-6, 4.37 ERA)
Slowey allowed a run on seven hits and two walks over six innings for the win against the Nationals in his last start. The right-hander has allowed 26 homers in 23 career outings, 21 starts, but he'll be pitching in the heavy night air of PETCO. Slowey is 3-3 with a 4.17 ERA on the road this season and will be making his first career appearance against the Padres.

Tidbits
Catcher Josh Bard, who is on the DL with a high ankle sprain, threw Sunday but is still at least two weeks away, Black said. ... Gonzalez hit his 21st home run Sunday. Gonzalez's home run total projects to 44 for the year, which would be second highest for the franchise but shy of Greg Vaughn's club record 50 in 1998. ... Headley had his hitting streak snapped at five games with three strikeouts and a fly ball Sunday. ... Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth Sunday to get some work after not appearing since June 11. Hoffman has now faced every Major League team in his career except one, the Twins. ... Randy Wolf leads the Padres with 11 quality starts. ... Jody Gerut has reached base safely in 23 of his last 29 games.

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 (Greg Maddux, 3-5, 3.17) vs. Twins (Glen Perkins, 3-2, 4.39), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Padres (Josh Banks, 2-1, 1.62) vs. Twins (Scott Baker, 3-2, 3.47), 12:35 p.m. PT
• Friday: Padres (Cha Seung Baek, 1-2, 5.11) vs. Mariners (Jarrod Washburn, 2-7, 5.52), 7:05 p.m. PT

Mike Scarr 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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