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Richard sharper vs. non-NL West teams

Notes on Jankowski, Pirela, Lopez, Spangenberg
San Diego Padres

Padres manager Andy Green recently noted that hitters in the National League West might be getting more comfortable with Clayton Richard than hitters outside the division.

The early-season numbers from the 2018 season tend to support Green's theory.

Padres manager Andy Green recently noted that hitters in the National League West might be getting more comfortable with Clayton Richard than hitters outside the division.

The early-season numbers from the 2018 season tend to support Green's theory.

Richard made his ninth start of the season Sunday and his fourth against a team from outside the NL West. He held the St. Louis Cardinals to two runs on five hits and a walk while equaling his career high of 10 strikeouts over eight innings.

In five starts against NL West teams this season, Richard has an 8.25 ERA. He has allowed 23 runs (22 earned) on 33 hits and 16 walks with 24 strikeouts in 24 innings. His WHIP against NL West teams is 2.04.

Richard has a 2.73 ERA with a 0.98 WHIP against teams from outside the NL West. He has allowed nine runs on 24 hits and five walks with 26 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings.

His four longest starts of the season have come in games against teams from outside the NL West. In fact, he has failed to go deeper than five innings against an NL West team, while his shortest start against a team from outside the division is 6 2/3 innings.

A couple other notes on Richard:

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

He went eight innings in each of his last two starts (against the Nationals and Cardinals). The last Padres pitcher to go eight innings in back-to-back starts was Andrew Cashner in 2014. It was also the second time that Richard went eight innings in back-to-back starts in his career.

He earned his 53rd win as a Padre for the third-most wins by a left-handed Padres pitcher (behind Randy Jones' 92 and Bruce Hurst's 55).

Richard now ranks 11th on the Padres' all-time strikeout list with 620.

NOTEBOOK:

• RF Travis Jankowski has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, going 12-for-31 (.387) with two triples, a home run, two steals and five walks for a .472 on-base percentage and a .613 slugging percentage for a 1.085 OPS. Jankowski is hitting .371 out of the leadoff position with six walks for a .463 on-base percentage.

• C Raffy Lopez was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts on Sunday. He also drew two walks to extend his career-best streak of reaching base to seven straight games. He is 5-for-20 with five walks during the streak. He also has two homers, three RBIs and five runs scored.

• 2B Jose Pirela has hit in five straight games, going 7-for-19 (.368) with three doubles, three walks (a .455 on-base on base percentage), two RBIs and five runs scored.

• INF Cory Spangenberg's RBI single on Sunday was the second hit by a Padres third baseman this month.

San Diego Padres