A home series sweep of the San Diego Padres would be the ideal way for the Arizona Diamondbacks to bounce back from an awful road trip.
The Diamondbacks have that opportunity while facing former teammate Ian Kennedy, who will try to help the Padres avoid a fourth straight defeat Sunday.
Arizona (55-75) totaled 21 runs on a 2-8 trip it concluded with six consecutive losses. However, it snapped that slide with a 5-1 victory Friday and posted a 5-2 win Saturday.
After Arizona squandered a 2-0 lead in the top of the eighth inning Saturday, Didi Gregorius hit a tiebreaking three-run home in the bottom half to help the Diamondbacks improve to 8-3 against the Padres this season. Jake Lamb had two hits, including his first career homer, in this 13th game.
”We try to get (the younger players) to believe in themselves,” manager Kirk Gibson said. ”Sometimes the results are frustrating, but they had good games (Saturday).”
Two of Gregorius’ three hits in 40 at-bats over his last 11 games have left the park.
Rookie teammate Ender Inciarte, meanwhile, is batting .348 in the last five games at Chase Field.
Kennedy (9-11, 3.72 ERA) is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts against the Diamondbacks since they traded him to San Diego (59-69) at last year’s deadline. In his only other outing against them at Chase, Kennedy gave up six runs, six hits and walked five in 4 1-3 innings of a 10-9, 10-inning defeat Aug. 27.
He gave up three runs and 11 hits but struck out seven in five innings of a 4-3 loss to Arizona on May 3.
"It could have been better," Kennedy told MLB’s official website about his latest outing against his former club. "I was falling behind guys and felt like it was a constant battle the whole game."
The right-hander was 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in four starts before giving up six runs in five innings of an 8-6 loss at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
Miguel Montero homered off Kennedy this season and is 4 for 8 against him lifetime.
Arizona’s Chase Anderson (7-5, 3.71) looks to continue his recent success at home, where he’s 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last four starts.
The rookie right-hander went 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in six overall outings prior to giving up six runs and six hits in two-plus innings of an 8-1 loss at Washington on Tuesday.
"I was just fighting myself not to rush to the plate and keep my front side closed," Anderson said. "That’s kind of been the thing I’ve worked on all year, just tried to stay consistent with that command, but it’s been kind of hit or miss."
Anderson allowed four runs but only one earned over five innings of a 12-6 home win over San Diego on May 28.
Jedd Gyorko, Cameron Maybin and Tommy Medica each went 2 for 3 against Anderson in that contest.
Maybin had two of San Diego’s three hits Saturday. They are his only hits in seven at-bats over four games since his 25-game illegal substance suspension ended.