With their offense beginning to show some life, the Diamondbacks should feel confident with Ian Kennedy on the mound in a ballpark where he’s been dominant. Kennedy will try for a fourth consecutive win at Petco Park on Sunday when the D-backs look to take the series finale and win two of three from the Padres.
After Arizona pitchers allowed 16 runs and 24 hits in losses Thursday and Friday, Patrick Corbin provided a huge lift Saturday, giving up one run over seven innings in an 8-1 victory. The Diamondbacks held the Padres to six hits and snapped a season-long four-game losing streak.
“It was a nice change of pace for us and getting everyone relaxed,” said center fielder A.J. Pollock, who led a 10-hit attack with a homer and a double. “We enjoyed it, especially the way Corbin was throwing.”
The Diamondbacks (16-14) now hope to get a similar performance when they send Kennedy (1-2, 4.78 ERA) to the hill in the series finale.
Kennedy is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in four career starts at Petco, limiting the Padres to 12 hits while striking out 37 in 24 innings. Overall against the Padres (12-18), he has a 7-1 record and a 2.79 ERA in 11 outings.
Since winning his season debut, Kennedy is 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA in five starts. However, he’s pitched reasonably well over the last three, posting a 3.79 ERA while limiting opposing batters to a .212 average.
This time, Kennedy may get some help from an Arizona offense that has been swinging with some confidence after giving him just five runs of support in his last four outings. The Diamondbacks averaged 3.0 runs with a .221 batting average over a seven-game stretch before scoring 6.7 per game in the last three while hitting .305.
The D-backs, who have homered in a season-high five straight games, look to keep their offensive surge going against a pitching staff that has served up 10 home runs in the last six games while posting a 5.19 ERA.
Padres scheduled starter Edinson Volquez (2-3, 6.39) has one of the NL’s worst ERAs, but he’s allowed just six runs over 18 2/3 innings in his last three starts. The right-hander earned his second straight win Tuesday when he gave up four runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 13-7 road victory over the Cubs.
“Overall, I thought Eddie threw the ball fine. Tough night to pitch,” manager Bud Black said. “Wind blowing out, conditions favorable for the offense.”
Volquez went 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks last season, striking out 25 in 26 innings.
Paul Goldschmidt is 4 for 9 with a homer and two doubles when facing Volquez, but he’s 5 for 26 without an extra-base hit in his last eight games overall. Miguel Montero, who ended a 25-game homerless drought in the series opener, is expected to be back behind the plate for the Diamondbacks after getting Saturday off. He’s 3 for 16 againts Volquez.
Chris Denorfia homered Saturday for San Diego’s only run and is 4 for 9 in this series to raise his career batting average against the Diamondbacks to .368.
Yonder Alonso, who leads the Padres with four homers and 19 RBIs, is 6 for 12 with a homer lifetime off Kennedy. Chase Headley went 4 for 10 with three extra-base hits against Kennedy last year and enters this matchup on a nine-game hitting streak, batting .371 with two homers.