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07/22/09 3:10 AM ET

Geer ready for first look at Marlins

San Diego (37-57) vs. Florida (48-47), 12:35 p.m. PT

SAN DIEGO -- Padres righty Josh Geer will face unfamiliar foes on Wednesday at PETCO Park when he takes on the Marlins for the first time in his career.

Geer, in his second season as a Major League pitcher, has never thrown against any batter on the Marlins' roster.

In trying to avoid a sweep on Wednesday, Geer says he wants to focus on reducing home runs.

Geer (1-2) has surrendered at least one long ball in his last seven starts. Out of his 15 starts, he has only pitched two games without allowing a home run.

The worst came on June 13 in Anaheim, where he allowed four in 5 2/3 innings, resulting in a 9-1 loss.

Padres manager Bud Black said it's a fairly simple mechanical fix for Geer.

"The greater majority of home runs given up are balls up in the strike zone," Black said. "His challenge is to keep the ball down with his sinking action."

Geer said although he "doesn't want to jinx" himself, he feels confident in his command of the fastball and ability to get strikes. His main goal is to lower the number of home runs by reducing hanging balls.

"Usually that's where everybody gets hurt," Geer said.

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Josh Geer (1-5, 6.02 ERA)
Geer struggled for the second time in as many starts on Friday against the Rockies, allowing five earned runs on seven hits with four walks in a loss to Colorado. He's now allowed 11 earned runs in his last 8 2/3 innings. Geer also allowed a home run in the first inning to Clint Barmes, making it 23 long balls he's allowed this season, the most in the National League. The walks were out of character for Geer, who had gone three straight starts without issuing a free pass and had walked just four in his previous six starts.

FLA: RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-7, 5.77 ERA)
Nolasco took a no-decision in his last start, allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings while striking out five and walking two Phillies on Friday. The right-hander struggled a bit in the first, allowing a Chase Utley two-run homer, but he settled in to retire nine straight before giving up another two runs in the fourth. Nolasco has struggled on the road this season, going 2-4 with a 6.99 ERA over nine starts.

Black said right-hander Chris Young is behind schedule in his anticipated rehabilitation from a strained right shoulder. Young, who went on the 15-day disabled list about a month ago, is still feeling discomfort in his arm and has not thrown a bullpen session since early July. ... Outfielder Brian Giles is progressing well in his recovery from a right knee contusion that put him on the DL on June 23 (retroactive to June 19). Black said Giles might hit in the cage within the next week. ... Catcher Nick Hundley is "still a ways away" from making his return to the field, Black said. Hundley went on the 15-day DL on June 19, retroactive to June 18, and has missed 30 games with a sprained left wrist.

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Up next
• Thursday: Padres (Kevin Correia, 6-7, 4.34) at Phillies (Cole Hamels, 5-5, 4.72), 4:05 p.m. PT
• Friday: Padres (Mat Latos, 0-1, 4.50) at Nationals (TBD), 4:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Padres (Tim Stauffer, 0-1, 2.08) at Nationals (TBD), 4:05 p.m. PT

Amy Brittain is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.