Cashner looks to build off impressive outing
SAN DIEGO -- The month of June wasn't kind to Andrew Cashner, who went into Saturday's start against the D-backs with a 7.62 ERA to show for his five previous starts this month.
Could better things be around the corner for Cashner?
He certainly hopes and, from the looks of it, he didn't have to wait for July to roll around to begin putting his plan in place for a brighter second half, as the Padres topped the D-backs, 7-2, at Petco Park.
"It was something good to build off of, I'm definitely better than what I showed tonight, but it's something to build off moving forward," Cashner said.
Cashner won for the first time since May 27, allowing two runs on eight hits in seven innings. He didn't walk a batter and finished with six strikeouts.
Cashner (3-9) had been a victim of poor run support and poor defense behind him for the first two months of the season. But in June, though, the fault for his struggles essentially wrested mainly on his shoulders.
On Saturday, he allowed three hits in the second inning, but no runs. He got the first two hitters out in the third inning, but allowed three consecutive doubles, the last two by David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas leading to runs.
But Cashner was better after that, working four straight scoreless innings before turning the ball over to the bullpen.
"I think it's just a matter of executing the pitches. It's a matter of executing pitches and staying after it, going pitch for pitch," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy. "[When] he executes pitches with that stuff, we're going to have a good chance to win."
Cashner credited the comfort level he has with his sinker for helping him get over the hump on Saturday.
"The sinker's finally back to where I think it should be. It's down in the zone," Cashner said.
Then there was the matter of run support. The seven runs the Padres scored while Cashner was in the game were the most they've scored in a start for him since September of 2013.
"He's got good stuff. We knew that going in. He's anywhere between 93 and 100 mph with a pretty good slider. If he can control it, he's a good pitcher," said D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock. "He's got some of the better stuff you see out there."