SAN DIEGO (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Marlins continue their western swing hoping to build off a strong finish in Arizona.
San Diego and Miami are known for great weather, picturesque beaches and relaxing lifestyles.
Those city’s baseball teams, unfortunately, are enduring the NL’s longest postseason droughts and have already fired their managers after failing to meet expectations.
Misery may love company when the underachieving Padres and Marlins meet for the first time Thursday night to start a four-game series at Petco Park.
Miami (40-55) has the longest postseason drought in the NL, last reaching the playoffs when it won the 2003 World Series. San Diego (44-51) is tied with the New York Mets for the league’s second-worst dry spell, having last qualified in 2006.
Both clubs had hope thanks to some major offseason moves.
The Marlins re-signed slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a record $325 million, 13-year deal and added veterans Dee Gordon, Michael Morse and Martin Prado. Stanton and Gordon, however, are currently injured.
The new-look Padres added Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton Jr., Will Middlebrooks, Derek Norris and closer Craig Kimbrel. Those batters are all hitting below their career averages, Middlebrooks was sent to the minors Wednesday and Kimbrel has his worst career ERA.
Miami general manager Dan Jennings took over as manager for Mike Redmond on May 17. San Diego fired Bud Black on June 15, with Pat Murphy named interim manager.
The similarities with these clubs extend to the fact that Thursday’s right-handed starters have identical 3.38 ERAs. The Padres send Tyson Ross (6-7) to the mound to face the Marlins’ Tom Koehler (7-6).
Ross is allowing a major league-low 0.23 homers per nine innings, though he is also last in baseball with 4.38 walks per nine innings. He is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA in his last six starts, with San Diego winning five of them.
Ross gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings Saturday and did not get a decision in a 5-4 victory over Colorado. He allowed one run over seven innings to earn a 10-1 victory over the Marlins last year in his lone career start versus them.
Prado has faced him the most among Miami hitters, going 4 for 16.
Koehler has a 1.97 ERA in his last five outings, winning the first three but losing the last two. He surrendered three runs and three hits in six innings Saturday in a 3-1 loss at Philadelphia.
Koehler won his lone career start against the Padres last year by giving up two runs in six innings in an 8-2 rout. Justin Upton is 6 for 16 against him, though he has missed the last three games with a strained muscle in his side.
Miami seeks its first three-game road win streak after starters Mat Latos and Jose Fernandez notched victories in this week’s three-game set with Arizona. Closer A.J. Ramos loaded the bases to start the ninth before striking out the side in Wednesday’s 5-3 victory.
“Not good for the manager’s heart, but pretty exciting,” Jennings said.
San Diego totaled four runs in consecutive home defeats to San Francisco, managing six hits with a solo homer by Jedd Gyorko in Wednesday’s 7-1 loss.
“It’s disappointing but we put ourselves in a good position and didn’t execute when we had to,” Murphy said.
The Padres took four of seven 2014 matchups.
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