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Padres still looking for answers for scuffling offense

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PHILADELPHIA -- While the Padres pitching continues to give them a chance to win, their offense is preventing them from doing so. The team entered Thursday's game against the Phillies last in the Major Leagues in batting average (.216), slugging percentage (.344), on-base percentage (.275) and runs (197). They're also last in the big leagues in hits with 462, 40 fewer than the 29th-ranked Cubs.

The trend continued Wednesday night, as seven scoreless innings by Tyson Ross were cast in vain. The Padres offense laid another goose egg against Cole Hamels, and in its past nine games, San Diego has scored just 14 runs.

Manager Bud Black chalked up yesterday's zero-run performance to the effectiveness of their opposing pitcher.

"He came out and had all his pitches working," Black said of Hamels. "Changed speeds. Threw a lot of good pitches behind in the count. We had a couple of decent swings, but not enough."

Thursday's lineup included six batters hitting under .210: Will Venable (.210), Everth Cabrera (.226), Chase Headley (.199), Yonder Alonso (.207), Alexi Amarista (.200) and Eric Stults (.071).

The 2014 Padres offense is also historically one of the worst producing offense in league history. Their 3.08 runs per game entering Thursday's contest is lower than any team in baseball since 1972, when the Angels (2.93), Rangers (2.99) and Indians (3.03) all averaged lower.

Erik Bacharach 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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