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Padres searching for silver linings

Kemp's 31-game on-base streak longest since Klesko's record run

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

It is difficult to find anything positive over the way the Padres have played the past 10 days, particularly the past weekend in San Francisco, but they're looking for bright spots as the season winds down.

During the Giants' three-game sweep of the Padres, San Francisco outscored San Diego, 27-4, and outhit the Padres, 35-10. And remember, the Giants, as the home team, had three fewer innings on offense in the 9-1, 8-0 and 10-3 routs.

Over the course of the three games, Giants pitchers had as many RBIs as the entire Padres offense.

There was also the near-perfect game by Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on Saturday night, the only blemish in the bid being Melvin Upton Jr.'s two-out single in the eighth.

Entering Monday, the Padres had lost four in a row and eight of their past 10 games to fall 10 games below .500 for the second time this season.

Only two starting pitchers have completed seven innings in the past 11 games, and one of those, rookie right-hander Colin Rea, has made his last start of the season due to elbow and forearm soreness.

The earned run average of the three San Diego starting pitchers in San Francisco was 11.37. They allowed 16 runs on 21 hits and nine walks in just 12 2/3 innings. The Padres have had only three quality starts over their last 10 games, the best being the seven scoreless innings Rea worked against the Rockies. The ERA for Padres starters over the last 10 games is 5.60.

And San Diego's overworked bullpen has fared little better.

Including a spot start Sunday, long reliever Odrisamer Despaigne has given up multiple runs in six of his past seven outings -- a total of 19 runs on 26 hits in 12 innings for an ERA of 14.25.

With Brandon Maurer and Shawn Kelley both sidelined with injuries, the setup duties in front of the end-of-game tandem of Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel have fallen to Bud Norris, Nick Vincent and Kevin Quackenbush.

The silver lining is hard to find.


Matt Kemp's on-base streak ended at 31 games during Bumgarner's near-perfect effort Saturday night. Kemp was also unable to reach base Sunday. That marked the first time since July 26-28 that Kemp didn't reach base in consecutive starts and only the third time since the end of June. Kemp's streak was the longest since Ryan Klesko reached base in a franchise-record 56 straight games during the 2002 season. The Major League record for reaching base in consecutive games is 84, set by San Diego native Ted Williams in 1949. Kemp had hitting streaks of 15, five and nine straight games during the streak.

• Vincent has allowed only one unearned run during his last two tours with the Padres, allowing six hits and four walks with eight strikeouts in nine innings since June 14.

Brett Wallace started at first Sunday and had a run-scoring double in four at-bats. Since joining the Padres on June 19, Wallace is batting .329 with four homers and 15 RBIs in just 70 at-bats. He is batting .359 (14-for-39) as a pinch-hitter with three homers and 11 RBIs.

• After Upton Jr. broke up Bumgarner's perfect-game bid with a pinch-hit single with two out in the eighth Saturday night, he singled in two at-bats Sunday to raise his average to .244 -- its second-highest mark of the season.

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