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Stauffer wants to pitch deep vs. Nationals

Stauffer wants to pitch deep vs. Nationals

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MIAMI -- Fresh off winning two road series against playoff contenders, the Padres are hot heading into a three-game set against the Nationals. Tim Stauffer hopes to be the player that keeps them going in the right direction.

"We're just going to try to keep doing what we've been doing, and that's being consistent," Stauffer said. "The offense is picking us up and getting some big hits for us. We're throwing the ball pretty well. We've just got to keep building on that and we'll be alright."

Like his team, the 27-year-old's season has not gone as well as he would have liked, but Stauffer is coming off an encouraging outing. The right-hander held the Braves to three runs on six hits over five innings to earn his first win since July 30.

While the fourth overall selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft was happy to help his team get a win in his past start, he hopes to do much more this time around. Stauffer's goal is to go beyond the fifth inning, a feat he has not accomplished since he shut down the Reds for seven innings at the end of July.

"I've got to try to get early contact," Stauffer said. "The last couple of games, the teams have been pretty patient. I just need to throw strikes early in the count and throw better overall. I need to try to get early contact -- whether it's a hit or an out, I just need to trust my stuff a little bit more. There's no excuse for going five innings."

Stauffer caught a glimpse of the Nationals earlier this year, allowing two runs over an inning before a three-hour rain delay ended his outing on July 25. This time, the right-hander is looking for revenge, and he feels like he has the game plan to get it.

"I only got to face a couple of their guys, but hopefully I can build on that and get some payback," Stauffer said. "They've got some bats. It's a good lineup that I need to be aggressive with from the get go. I need to set the tone in the first inning, make sure I get strike one and take the game plan from there."

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Tim Stauffer (2-6, 4.11 ERA)
For the fifth consecutive game, Stauffer lasted just five innings. However, he was fairly effective against the Braves on Wednesday after a rocky first inning. He surrendered a three-run home run to Braves catcher Brian McCann on an 0-2 count to give the Braves an early lead, but pitched four scoreless innings afterward. Stauffer was pinch-hit for in the sixth when the Padres had two runners in scoring position. The win was Stauffer's first since July 30.

WSH: RHP Livan Hernandez (7-8, 5.36 ERA)
Hernandez made his second go-round with the Nationals on Wednesday. It was a typical ballgame the organization is used to. He went deep into the game against the Cubs, pitching six innings and giving up two runs on five hits. He looked like the Hernandez of old, mixing in his breaking stuff with his 85-mph fastball and fielding his position better than any pitcher in baseball.

Tidbits
Oscar Salazar was the Padres' hottest bat this past weekend in Florida. The 31-year-old infielder was 7-for-10 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI over three games against the Marlins. ... Adrian Gonzalez, who had not played since Friday due to soreness in his left bicep, had a pinch-hit single to right in the eighth inning of Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Marlins. ... Padres manager Bud Black said Wade LeBlanc earned another start after his performance in Saturday's 7-4 win over the Marlins. The 25-year-old left-hander took a no-decision after allowing four runs on four hits over six innings. LeBlanc's next start is scheduled for Friday against the Dodgers. ... Kyle Blanks, who went on the disabled list Saturday with a strained arch in his right foot, is wearing a walking boot to protect his foot. Black said team trainers feel it will take "at least 10 days" for Blanks' foot to heal. He is eligible to come off the DL on Sept. 13. ... The Padres' 10 hits on Sunday marked the 13th time in the past 15 road games that the team had 10 or more hits. San Diego is 9-6 over that span.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• 4 San Diego

On radio
• XPRS 1090, XEMO 860 (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Padres (Clayton Richard, 7-4, 4.79) vs. Nationals (TBD), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Padres (Kevin Correia, 9-10, 4.50) vs. Nationals (John Lannan, 8-9, 3.95), 12:35 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Off-day

David Villavicencio is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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