Chase Headley says talks regarding a potential contract extension to stay in San Diego were becoming a distraction, so he’s decided to wait until the offseason to focus on the negotiations. He hasn’t seemed too distracted at the plate, though.
The Padres seeks a sixth consecutive home victory Saturday night when they take on the Diamondbacks, who have lost four straight.
Headley had one of the best seasons in Padres history in 2012, hitting 31 homers with an NL-best 115 RBIs while also winning a Gold Glove at third base. The sides couldn’t work out a long-term deal in the offseason, though, and Headley signed a one-year, $8.575 million contract.
Discussions have continued, but Headley has seemed to grow tired of those talks taking his focus off the field, not because he’s frustrated with the negotiations.
“The reasoning for my wanting to do this in the offseason is because I know me better than anybody else,” Headley said. “For me to go out and play the best that I can, I need to be completely focused on the field. That’s the sole and only purpose behind it.”
He hasn’t seemed too bothered while batting .364 during his current hitting streak, which reached eight with an RBI double in the eighth inning of Friday’s 7-6 win over the D-backs. Headley drove in a run for the fourth straight game after having four RBIs through his first 11.
The switch hitter has four homers and 16 RBIs in his last 12 games against Arizona.
San Diego (12-17), which hasn’t won six straight at home since Aug. 1-25, 2010, has won seven of nine overall. The Padres have averaged 6.1 runs in the last seven with 31 extra-base hits, including six on Friday as part of a 14-hit attack.
“I’ve sensed us starting to swing the bats better the last couple weeks,” manager Bud Black said. “It showed again with double-digit hits, some good at-bats, some hard contact along the way.”
The Padres will be trying to win for the 11th time in 13 meetings with the Diamondbacks (15-14), who have lost against Clayton Richard the last six times in a row.
He’s 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA in that span, but Richard (0-3, 7.94 ERA) enters his start Saturday in a funk. The left-hander allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-3 loss to the Cubs on Monday, six days after giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings of a 6-3 loss to the Brewers.
“I wish I could have put us in a better position to win a baseball game. That’s all that really matters,” Richard said.
He’s looking to avoid going winless in a career-high eight straight starts dating back to last season, having allowed at least five runs in five of his last seven.
D-backs scheduled starter Patrick Corbin (3-0, 1.91) is off to a significantly better start, allowing seven runs in 33 innings over five outings. He hasn’t walked a batter in either of his last two, including giving up two runs in 6 2/3 innings of Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Rockies.
“He just competes,” manager Kirk Gibson told the team’s official website. “He understands the tools he possesses and he has utilized them.”
The left-hander faced San Diego three times as a rookie last season, losing both starts and posting a 5.27 ERA as the Padres hit .358 against him. Chris Denorfia went 3 for 6 with a pair of solo homers off Corbin.