The San Diego Padres are hoping the momentum they've gained on their current road trip will help them end a long history of struggles in Arizona and the Diamondbacks' recent dominance at home.
The Diamondbacks return from a rough trip looking to continue their success at Chase Field while trying to prevent the Padres from a third straight win Monday night.After salvaging a four-game split in Houston, San Diego (30-50) took two of three at Colorado over the weekend to improve to 4-3 on a 10-game trip.The Padres, who were 10-23 on the road before this trek, now head to Arizona, where the Diamondbacks (39-39) have won four in a row and 12 of 14.Though San Diego snapped a seven-game skid at Arizona with a 7-6 win Sept. 11, the Diamondbacks' .686 home winning percentage against the Padres -- an 83-38 record all-time -- is their best versus any NL opponent. The Padres also dropped four of six at home to begin the 2012 season series.Two of those defeats came in games started by Arizona's Trevor Cahill (6-6, 3.67 ERA), who allowed one run in 15 innings while going 1-0 in those starts.The right-hander, however, hopes to avoid a third straight rough outing Monday. Cahill allowed six runs in six innings June 20 but recorded a fourth straight winning start in a 14-10 victory over Seattle. He wasn't so fortunate after again yielding six -- four earned -- along with four walks in five-plus innings of a 6-4 loss Wednesday at Atlanta.The Diamondbacks have averaged 8.0 runs while winning 10 of their last 11 at home, but they totaled three runs while losing two straight at Milwaukee to conclude a 2-4 trip. Jason Kubel homered to tie Sunday's game in the eighth inning, but two Arizona errors on a stolen base attempt in the ninth led to a 2-1 loss."It's a tough way to lose, but that's baseball," said outfielder Gerardo Parra, whose throw to third base trying to cut down Brewers pinch-runner Carlos Gomez bounced into the seats to end the game.Kubel is batting .415 with five homers and 19 RBIs during a 10-game home hitting streak, but he's 3 for 19 versus San Diego this season.Teammate Aaron Hill has batted .431 (22 for 51) and hit for the cycle twice in his last 12 games overall, but he's 2 for 20 against the Padres in 2012 and 1 for 6 in his career against scheduled San Diego starter Clayton Richard (5-8, 3.77).The left-hander allowed a run in 6 2/3 innings June 1 to improve his ERA to 4.45 in five starts against the Diamondbacks. He's 3-0 in those outings even though he didn't get the decision in San Diego's 7-1 victory last month.Richard faced one batter over the minimum in seven innings Wednesday at Houston, but a home run in a 1-0 defeat ended his three-start winning streak."Baseball is a funny game," Richard said. "Sometimes you pitch well and don't get the results you want. But that just goes to show how much of a team game this is. You have to have everything going to get wins."Chris Denorfia had two hits with an RBI in San Diego's 2-0 win at Colorado on Sunday, going 6 for 11 in that series.
Justin Upton has had a disappointing year so far, but he might be turning it around. From June 20 to June 30, Upton is 14 for 31 (.452) with 2 HR, 10 RBI, and 2 steals. He is also 5 for 11 (.455) in his career against Monday's expected starter Clayton Richard.