- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) - If the San Diego Padres want to be more consistent, they will need Andrew Cashner to pitch like he did Saturday night.

Backed by Justin Upton’s two-run homer, Casher threw strong seven innings and the San Diego Padres won consecutive games for the first time in three weeks with a 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Cashner (3-9) hung tough as he held the Diamondbacks to two runs on eight hits. The right-hander escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second unscathed and got out of the third inning after allowing three consecutive doubles.

“I thought I did a good job of limiting the damage,” he said. “I could have made some better pitches but I felt like I made some adjustments with my pitches.”

Cashner, who struck out six and did not walk a batter, struck out Chris Owings and got pitcher Jeremy Hendrickson to ground out in the second to hold Arizona from scoring.

“I think he showed mental toughness tonight that reassured him that if he just stays the course, he can be pretty special,” Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said.

Cashner won for the first time since May 27, a span of six starts. Cashner also drove in a run with a bunt single.

Cashner had a rough June coming into the start. In his last five starts he was 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA, including a four-inning start - his shortest of the season - in his last outing.

Upton connected for his 14th home run on a full-count pitch from Jeremy Hellickson (5-5) to break a 2-all tie in the fifth inning.

“The two-run homer by Justin really hurt us,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “You have certain guys on teams you try to make sure don’t beat you, and he’s the guy on this club.”

San Diego last won consecutive games during a four-game streak June 2-6. The victory moved San Diego ahead of Arizona into third place in the NL West. The Padres are 5-6 since Murphy took over after Bud Black was fired.

Upton’s homer was his 11th at Petco Park and his first since he homered on June 13 to give the Padres a 2-1 win over the Dodgers.

“I just have to make a better pitch to that guy in that situation,” Hellickson said. “If I walk him it’s fine.”

Will Venable and Clint Barmes led off the sixth with singles, and with one out, Cashner laid down a bunt between the mound and the third base line. Hellickson fielded the ball, but Venable slid home ahead of the tag.

Matt Kemp and Yangervis Solarte added RBI singles to push the Padres’ lead to 7-2.

Hellickson allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. In four starts this season against San Diego, Hellickson is 1-2 with a 7.55 ERA having allowed 31 hits in 22 2/3 innings.

The Diamondbacks tied the game at 2-all in the third on three consecutive two-out doubles by Paul Goldschmidt, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas.

POLAR OPPOSITES

Hellickson came in having allowed no unearned runs while Casher had given up a major league high 19 unearned runs, 11 more than the next closest pitcher.

NEARLY PERFECT VS. PADRES

Goldschmidt has reached base in 26 of his last 27 games against the Padres.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (Tommy John surgery) made his third rehab start on Friday night, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings for Double-A Mobile. Corbin is expected to make one more rehab start before a possible call-up to the majors.

Padres: 2B Cory Spangenberg left the game in the fourth inning with a sprained left knee. … LHP Cory Luebke threw 11 pitches in one perfect inning in a rehab appearance with Double-A San Antonio on Friday night. It was Luebke’s fifth rehab outing as he attempts to come back from his second Tommy John surgery.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Chase Anderson (3-2, 3.54 ERA) will attempt to rebound from his worst outing of the season in a 10-5 loss at Colorado on Tuesday. Anderson allowed eight runs on eight hits and three walks while giving up three home runs.

Padres: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (3-5, 4.83) has had mixed success against Arizona. The righty beat the D-backs on April 14 with seven innings of one-run, two-hit pitching in a 5-1 win. But Despaigne allowed season highs of eight runs on 10 hits in five innings on May 7 at Arizona in an 11-0 loss.

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