Complete coverage of the 2014 season

Series Preview: San Diego Padres vs. Cleveland Indians

By Matthew Wood
|  Monday, Apr 7, 2014  |  Updated 3:34 PM PDT
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Padres-Indians Preview

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Robbie Erlin makes his first start of the season for the Padres on Monday against the Cleveland Indians.

What’s worse than losing your first two series’ and starting the season 2-4? How about a trip to Cleveland in early April?

That’s what the Padres get after avoiding a sweep to the hands of the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon. Now they play three at the Indians (3-3) in their first interleague action of the year.

Things could be worse: It's supposed to rain this week, but at least it will be in the 40s in the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We’ll see if the Padres’ lineup continues to be one-hit wonders. Let’s take a look inside the series.

When they play: The teams take the field at 7:05 Eastern time (4 p.m. for us) on Monday and Tuesday, followed by an afternoon (or morning) tilt at noon (9 a.m.) on Thursday.

What’s at stake: More than anything the Padres want to win a series for psychological value. They also don’t want to lose too much sight of the division-leading Giants, who are off to a hot start (5-2). This is the only time the Friars and Tribe will see each other this season.

Who is pitching: It’s a battle of the back end of the rotations as neither team will be throwing their aces. We get to see Robbie Erlin make his first start of the season for the Padres on Monday. He threw 2/3 of an inning in relief against the Dodgers. The lefty battles Corey Kluber (0-1, 13.50 ERA), who got roughed up in his season debut against the Oakland A’s.

On Tuesday, Tyson Ross (0-1, 5.40) tries to get on track against Zach McAllister (0-0, 6.75).

On Wednesday, Eric Stults (0-1, 11.25) will try to put a dreadful start against LA behind him as he squares off against Danny Salazar (0-0, 3.18).

Who to watch: The Padres get their first chance to use a designated hitter, although with the way this lineup has been swinging, maybe they just want to let the pitcher hit. No regular starter is hitting above .300. Will Venable or Chris Denorfia will most likely flip between right field and DH for the series. Or maybe one of the three catchers will get the call. Nick Hundley and Yasmani Grandal each have three hits each in limited action.

Everth Cabrera has probably been the hottest at the plate with five hits in his last four games. Jedd Gyorko finally got off the schnide with a pair of hits against Miami.

For the Indians, Michael Brantley has been red-hot, hitting .375 with 6 RBIs. Jan Gomes hit a pair of homers over the weekend against Minnesota, but those account for half of his hits on the season.

Homeward bound: The Friars get the heck out of the Midwest and return to Petco Park for a 10-game homestand. It starts Friday with three games against the Detroit Tigers, followed by four games against Colorado Rockies and a three-game set with the San Francisco Giants.

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