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Sun, Sep 11, 2011 - 4:10 PM ET
 

Padres-Diamondbacks Preview

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A decade after winning their only World Series championship and following consecutive last-place finishes, the Arizona Diamondbacks are once again charging toward a playoff spot.

The surging Diamondbacks hope to extend their franchise-record home winning streak to 16 and move another step closer to the NL West title on Sunday against the San Diego Padres.

While spending this weekend honoring the team that stunned the New York Yankees in seven games to win the 2001 World Series, the Diamondbacks (85-61) kept their streak alive in improbable fashion with a 6-5, 10-inning win Saturday.

Chris Young and Lyle Overbay homered off All-Star closer Heath Bell leading off the ninth to tie the score, and Overbay drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th that scored Justin Upton and sealed Arizona's major league-leading 42nd come-from-behind win.

"To be able to hit two home runs of Heath Bell, has that ever happened in the ninth inning?'' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson asked. "We were very fortunate to come back on a guy that's so good, who has had so much success, yet we did it.''

Bell had given up two homers in a game four times in 427 appearances before Saturday, but never both in the ninth.

Arizona's magic number to win its first division title since 2007 shrunk to eight after San Francisco was blanked by the Los Angeles Dodgers later in the night. The Diamondbacks also opened a one-half game lead over Milwaukee for possible home-field advantage in a playoff series.

James Darnell hit his first career homer and Chris Denorfia matched a career high with four hits Saturday for the Padres (62-84), who have dropped 14 of 16 overall and 20 of 24 in Phoenix.

For the second time in less than three weeks, Arizona's Josh Collmenter will oppose San Diego's Wade LeBlanc on Sunday at Chase Field.

Collmenter (9-8, 3.10 ERA) scattered six hits and didn't walk a batter through 5 1-3 innings Aug. 26 to lead the Diamondbacks to a 5-0 win. LeBlanc (2-5, 5.33) surrendered five runs and seven hits in four innings.

Collmenter is 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA over his last six starts. Including last month's victory over the Padres, the right-hander has won three straight outings at home, allowing four runs in 18 1-3 innings.

With his next win, Collmenter would join Oscar Villarreal and Brandon Webb as the only Arizona rookies with 10 victories. Villarreal and Webb each reached the mark in 2003.

Collmenter gave up one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings at Colorado on Tuesday, but didn't get a decision after Diamondbacks relievers gave up seven runs in the eighth en route to an 8-3 loss.

Following his recent defeat against Arizona, LeBlanc has also fallen to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The left-hander yielded four runs and eight hits in five innings of Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Giants.

"I gave up runs and two times they answered for me, and then I gave it right back. ... I've got to figure out what makes me successful as a pitcher and get back to that," said LeBlanc, who's trying to avoid matching a career high with a fourth straight loss.

Overbay, who was a rookie on Arizona's title-winning team, is 5 for 8 with a homer and four RBIs over the last two games. He had batted .190 (4 for 21) in his previous eight games since rejoining the Diamondbacks via free agency Aug. 13.

Tagged: Padres, Diamondbacks, Lyle Overbay, Heath Bell, Wade LeBlanc

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