PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 27: Andrew Cashner #34 of the San Diego Padres rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 27, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Not too long ago, I asked Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner if he liked the Designated Hitter. He said he hated it. I asked why.
"Put your nine best athletes on the field," Cashner said.
He believes he's one of the best athletes available. There's really no way I can argue with him.
Saturday night in Arizona, Cashner hit his first Major League home run, and pitched six innings to earn his 7th win of the season, in the Padres' 12-3 win over the Diamondbacks.
Cashner has nine hits this year, tied for 5th-best in the bigs among pitchers, and is hitting .300.
He got plenty of help from the rest of the order, too. Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley also hit home runs, Yonder Alonso had three hits and drove in four, and Carlos Quentin had a pair of hits, drove in two runs, and scored two more.
After not winning a series on the road since May, the Padres can win back-to-back road series on Sunday behind Tyson Ross. Arizona counters with LHP Patrick Corbin, who's a shoddy 12-1 this year.