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Andrew Cashner wasn’t brilliant, but he was good enough for six innings and the Padres bull pen held firm. Jesus Guzman provided most of the key offense, and the Padres beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 on Monday in Milwaukee.

Cashner started poorly. With one out, he issued a walk and then allowed back-to-back doubles and two runs. It took Cashner a staggering 31 pitches to get out of the first inning.

In the top of the second inning, Jesus Guzman cut the Brewers lead in half with a shot to right-center field. One fan armed with a glove was in the perfect position to snare the blast:

http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=29034669

After that, Cashner settled in nicely, allowing only one more run which came in the bottom of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, the Padres offense got busy.

With the bases loaded and one out, Carlos Quentin doubled home a pair of runs. With two outs, and two on, Jesus Guzman laced a double into the left field corner to plate two more:

http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=29039267

The 5-3 lead held, as Dale Thayer and Luke Gregerson pitched an inning each in relief and gave way to Huston Street to close out the game. Street, who is widely considered to be coveted by contending teams in a trade scenario before the trade deadline (the Detroit Tigers are rumored to be interested and perhaps even talking with the Padres front office), earned his 17th save of the season.

With the win, the Padres improve to 44-56, and keep pace at 8 1/2 games out of first place in the National League West. Since the Arizona Diamondbacks lost to the Chicago Cubs on Monday and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, the Dodgers are now leading the division by 1/2 game.

Even if the Padres aren’t in the position down the stretch to compete in the division, they’ll have the opportunity to screw their division foes out of running away with it. The Padres will face the Dodgers six more times (three away and three at home) and play the Diamondbacks seven more games (three away and four at home).

Should the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies heat up and find themselves in position to challenge the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, the Padres still face those clubs six more times (three home and three away in both cases). There is still plenty of meaningful baseball to be played.


Notes:

As feared, Jason Marquis injury is season-ending. Jason has serious damage to his right ulnar collateral ligament, which is located in the elbow. It has yet to be determined if surgery is the best option to repair the damage. Marquis will become a free agent at the end of this season. Sean O’Sullivan will get the start on Wednesday, taking the spot of Marquis in the rotation.

Tuesday, Tyson Ross (0-4, 3.60) will go for the Padres against the Brewers’ Donovan Hand (0-1, 3.27). Game time is 5:10 PM PDST, available for your consumption on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.

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