D-backs return home to take on nemesis Padres
Quick. Which team has given the Diamondbacks the most trouble since the start of the 2012 season? Bud Black’s Padres have won 13 of the last 21 games between the two after winning the series in San Diego from May 3-5, and they are 8-2 in the last 10 games at Chase Field.
The D-backs remain the only team in the majors that has not been shut out, but the offense has been in a bit of a lull after a nine-run, 16-hit, three-homer 9-2 rout of the Marlins on Friday, having scored only 12 runs in the last five games. San Diego has won five of its last nine games in a tightening NL West. The D-backs (26-21) share the division lead with San Francisco and Colorado after losing two of three to the Rockies before Thursday’s off day.
Pitching matchups: Friday — LHP Eric Stults (4-3, 4.05 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (1-3, 4.74). Saturday — RHP Andrew Cashner (3-2, 3-02) vs. LHP Wade Miley (3-3, 3.67). Sunday — RHP Jason Marquis (6-2, 3.27) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (7-0, 1.44).
Who’s hot for the D-backs: Eric Chavez was 9 for 20 on the road trip and has four multiple-hit games in his last seven. He is hitting .429 in his last 17 games. … McCarthy has thrown 17 scoreless innings in his last two starts, which included his third career shutout in a 1-0 victory in Miami on Saturday. McCarthy has as many strikeouts (10) as hits allowed in those starts. … Paul Goldschmidt has hit safely in seven of his last nine games with five doubles and three home runs. … Corbin has gone six innings or more and given up two runs or fewer in all nine of his starts, the first major leaguer to do that since Ubaldo Jimenez made 12 straight such starts to open 2010.
Who’s not not for the D-backs: Catcher Miguel Montero had a two-hit game in Colorado on Friday but has only six hits and two RBIs his last 44 at-bats. … Primary pinch hitter Eric Hinske has three hits in his last 25 at-bats. … Infielder Martin Prado is coming around, hitting .268 in May, but still is not driving in runs, as he’s gone 4 for 42 (.095) with runners in scoring position.
Who’s hot for the Padres: Jason Marquis, who made three starts for the D-backs in 2011 before suffering a season-ending fractured right fibula when he was struck by a line drive Aug. 14, is 5-0 with a 2.27 ERA in his last five starts. Four of those outings have been at Petco Park. … Shortstop Everth Cabrera leads the majors wit 18 stolen bases and has seven in his last eight games. … Outfielder Chris Denorfia has nine hits in his last 21 at-bats. … Cashner, whose fastball averages just under 95 mph, is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last three starts.
Who’s not hot for the Padres: After a torrid April, catcher Nick Hundley has two hits in his last 39 at-bats. He is hitting .238. … Left fielder Carlos Quentin, who gained notoriety when he KO’d Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke for five weeks after charging the mound April 11, is hitting .178 in 30 games. Quentin, who has missed the last two games with left knee soreness, does have four homers and 14 RBIs.
Notes, quotes, odds and ends: The Diamondbacks are the only NL West team that has never been below .500 this season. … Not only is Denorfia hot, he looks like an All-Star every time the D-backs see him. He is hitting .362 with six doubles, eight homers and 15 RBIs in 116 career at-bats against the D-backs. He has no more than three homers against anyone else. … The D-backs have some favorable matchups this weekend: Miguel Montero is 5-for-16 with three homers and seven RBIs against Marquis, with all of the hits in his last 11 at-bats; Gerardo Parra has two homers and a triple in his last four at-bats against Padres closer Huston Street; and Martin Prado is 10 for 24 combined against Stults and Marquis. … Jedd Gyorko, who homered off the D-backs in the last game of their earlier series, had a 438-foot homer Wednesday, the longest at Petco Park this season. He has the Padres’ three longest homers this year.