After contentious series in L.A., D-backs look to protect NL West lead against surprising Padres.
By TYLER LOCKMANFS Arizona
After a day off to cool down from a heated series in L.A., the Diamondbacks arrive in San Diego for a weekend set with the
Padres. But the D-backs have yet to feel the true effects of their brawl with the Dodgers on Tuesday.
The D-backs could be without scheduled Sunday starter Ian Kennedy, who is expected to face suspension for throwing at Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke's head, igniting the bench-clearing fracas. He could, of course, appeal any suspension, delaying any missed time.
It would an added strain the D-backs could do without as they try to protect their lead in the NL West. And at 32-34, the surprising Padres are within striking distance, just five games back. Though Tuesday's games proved how unpredictable baseball can be, here's a look at what to expect this weekend:
PITCHING MATCHUPS: Friday -- RHP Trevor Cahill (3-7, 4.02 ERA) vs. LHP Eric Stults (5-5, 3.53). Saturday -- LHP Wade Miley (4-5, 4.89) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (1-5, 8.06). Sunday -- RHP Ian Kennedy (3-4, 5.49) vs. RHP Jason Marquis (8-2, 3.59).
WHO'S HOT FOR THE D-BACKS: Amid an eight-game hitting streak, D-backs hits leader Gerardo Parra has batted .452 (14 for 31) with three doubles and five RBI. Parra's .322 batting average ranks in the National League's top 10. … Jason Kubel is 4 for 9 over his last four games with a double, a home run and three RBI. He has a hit in 13 of his past 18 games. … While Cody Ross didn't drive any runs in during the D-backs' series win in L.A., he did put teammates in position to do so, collecting seven hits in 15 at-bats, including two doubles, and scoring four runs. … After allowing seven runs in three of four starts, Saturday starter Wade Miley has posted back-to-back quality starts, helping the D-backs go 2-0 in those games.
WHO'S NOT: Friday starter Trevor Cahill is 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA over his last four starts after giving up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Giants last weekend. His seven losses lead the team. … Third baseman Martin Prado is 3 for his last 22 at-bats, though he knocked in two in Wednesday's win. Prado's batting average has been below .300 since April 13. … Following a stretch of 13 scoreless outings in 14 appearances, closer Heath Bell allowed runs in consecutive outings Tuesday and Thursday. His streak of consecutive save chances converted remains intact, however, at eight.
WHO'S HOT FOR THE PADRES: Former D-back and Sunday starter Jason Marquis has more wins (eight) and a better ERA (3.59) this season than all but one D-backs starter. He has allowed more than three runs in just three of 13 starts this season, one of those coming against the D-backs at Chase Field on May 26. … Outfielder Will Venable is 3 for his last 10 at-bats. Those hits were a double, a triple and a home run that helped him notch four RBI. … Since coming off the disabled list and replacing injured Jedd Gyorko at second base, Logan Forsythe is 3 for 9 with a home run and three RBI. He had not played this year before making his season debut Tuesday.
WHO'S NOT: Saturday starter Clayton Richard has given up at least four runs in six straight starts and has allowed fewer than four in just two of nine starts this season. He has an 8.06 ERA, which would rank among the worst for starting pitchers in the majors if he had enough innings to qualify. … Since returning from a 50-game drug suspension, catcher Yasmani Grandal is just 8 for 43 (.186) with four RBI and two extra-base hits. … Outfielder Chris Denorfia is 2 for 20 over the past week but did tally three RBI.
NOTES, QUOTES, ODDS AND ENDS: A suspension for Kennedy would come at a particularly inopportune time for the D-backs and Kennedy himself. It would put a strain on the D-backs pitching staff to cover his scheduled Sunday start and also come at a time Kennedy might have found a groove. He was throwing one of his better games of the season before being ejected Tuesday. … The D-backs claimed right-handed reliever Nate Adcock off waivers from the
Royals on Thursday. The 25-year-old has not pitched in the majors since Sept. 29, 2012. … After beating the Dodgers in 12 innings Wednesday, the D-backs are 8-2 in extra innings this season. The D-backs played in just seven extra-inning games last season. … The Padres put second baseman Jedd Gyorko on the disabled list Monday; the rookie was on a five-game hitting streak, going 9 for 23 with three doubles, two home runs, four RBI and a .423 on-base percentage in that span.