Padres-Diamondbacks Preview

The San Diego Padres have been the NL’s most unflappable team

all season, but a five-game losing streak suddenly has Bud Black’s

club facing some adversity.

They’re about to get a reminder of how their skid started.

Arizona’s Ian Kennedy silenced the Padres last week while the

Diamondbacks pounded Kevin Correia, a mismatch San Diego has to

hope doesn’t repeat itself Tuesday night at Chase Field.

San Diego (76-54) wasn’t concerned after losing 11-5 to visiting

Arizona on Thursday, a game in which Kennedy (8-9, 4.22 ERA) struck

out 12 over seven scoreless innings while Correia was chased in the

fourth inning.

But rather than simply snapping a three-game winning streak,

that defeat was the start of the NL West leaders’ longest slide of

the season. After being swept by visiting Philadelphia over the

weekend, the Padres were burned by a pair of Mark Reynolds homers

in the Diamondbacks’ 7-2 win Monday.

“Every win we can get down the stretch against first-place or

wild-card teams is huge,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to keep

pressing and keep trying to put losses on teams that have a chance

to get to the postseason and play the spoiler role.”

Despite another loss, San Diego’s division lead remains the

same. Colorado rallied to beat San Francisco 2-1, leaving the

second-place Giants five games back.

The Padres haven’t dropped six straight since a seven-game slide

July 5-11, 2009, but to avoid hitting that mark Tuesday they’ll

need to find a better approach to facing Kennedy. The right-hander

has pitched 15 consecutive scoreless innings against the NL’s top

team after holding San Diego to one hit Thursday.

In three starts against the Padres, Kennedy has struck out 27

while walking five.

“(Kennedy) has been tough on us, going back to spring training

in Tucson,” Black told the Padres’ official website. “We saw a lot

of 3-2 changeups, even deep in the game.”

Correia (10-9, 5.29) pitched well enough in his first three

starts against the Diamondbacks (53-79), going 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA,

but he was no match for Kennedy and Arizona on Thursday. The righty

matched a career-high by surrendering nine runs, but a

second-inning walk of Kennedy – which led to Stephen Drew’s

three-run homer – was the mistake he most regretted.

“It’s almost the only thing I’d take back,” Correia said. “You

can’t walk the pitcher in that spot. It really changed the


Drew is just a .227 hitter against Correia, but Justin Upton

(.351) has had more success. Upton, however, may sit Tuesday after

exiting Monday’s game in the seventh inning with left shoulder


Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez singled Monday to extend

his hitting streak in Arizona to 10 games, a stretch in which he’s

hit .459 (17 for 37) with four homers.

The All-Star’s success hasn’t meant much, however. San Diego is

5-15 in its past 20 games at Chase Field.