Padres-Diamondbacks Preview

Given their six straight overall wins over the Arizona

Diamondbacks, a trip to Chase Field would appear just what the San

Diego Padres need to get back on a roll.

The Padres, however, haven’t fared too well lately at

Arizona.

San Diego will try to win for the fifth time in its last 17 road

meetings with the Diamondbacks as the NL West rivals open a

three-game series Friday night.

The Padres (63-44) enter the weekend holding a two-game division

lead over San Francisco but having dropped four of seven. However,

they snapped a 20-inning scoreless drought Thursday night en route

to a 5-0 victory at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chase Headley and Yorvit Torrealba kicked off the scoring with a

pair of RBI singles and Chris Denorfia sealed the win with a

pinch-hit, inside-the-park home run. The Padres’ bullpen lowered

its major league-best ERA to 2.79.

“I’m awfully proud of the bullpen, based on their service time,”

manager Bud Black said. “I mean, you look at the major league

tenure of that group, and it’s not an overly experienced bullpen.

But yet, there’s a poise to them and a confidence that is really

great to watch from my perspective.”

As it strives to maintain its division lead, San Diego would

seem to benefit from facing the Diamondbacks (41-68), losers of six

of their last eight at home. The Padres swept a pair of home series

from Arizona by a 42-16 margin, but got outscored 14-12 while

dropping two of three at Chase Field from April 5-7.

San Diego has dropped 12 of 16 at Arizona, and 20 of 30 there

since the start of 2007.

Friday’s starter Jon Garland (10-7, 3.60 ERA) wouldn’t seem the

best candidate to end those woes. The right-hander is 1-3 with a

5.87 ERA in his last five games away from home.

He’s also 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA as a visitor at Chase Field.

Garland, who made 27 starts for Arizona last season, is 4-7 with a

5.72 ERA in 16 total games at the Diamondbacks’ home ballpark.

He enters this game having won twice in his last four starts,

including a 5-4 victory over Florida on Sunday in which he gave up

three runs over six innings.

He’ll face a Diamondbacks team that’s alternated wins and losses

in its last seven contests and kicked off its homestand by

splitting a four-game set with Washington. Arizona took advantage

of three Nationals errors for an 8-4 win Thursday night.

“That’s what you have to do,” second baseman Kelly Johnson said.

“When a team makes mistakes, you have to take advantage.”

Making his second NL start, right-hander Daniel Hudson (1-0,

1.13) will try to help his new team earn back-to-back victories for

the first time since a three-game run July 19-21.

Acquired one week ago in a trade with the Chicago White Sox,

Hudson allowed one run, three hits and a walk over eight innings in

Sunday’s 14-1 rout of the New York Mets.

Arizona slugger Mark Reynolds, hit in the head with a pitch

Tuesday, could miss the series opener. He was pulled after striking

out three times in a 7-2 loss Wednesday, and did not play in

Thursday’s victory.