The Padres kick off a three-game series against the Diamondbacks tonight that will close out the Friars’ opening homestand. San Diego went 7-11 against the 2011 NL West champs last year, including a 5-4 mark at Petco Park. Over the last two years, the Padres have gone a 13-5 at home vs. Arizona, with the pitching staff posting a 2.85 ERA (52 ER/164.0 IP) and 8.6 strikeouts per 9.0 IP over that stretch.
San Diego snapped it’s season-opening skid, winning 8-4 over the Dodgers on Sunday. Clayton Richard picked up the win, improving to 5-1 lifetime against LAD. He retired the first nine batters he faced and allowed only two unearned runs in his 7.0 innings of work. The Friars’ offense was powered by Andy Parrino’s first career home run and Chase Headley’s second career grand slam.
Edinson Volquez takes the hill for his second start of the season tonight. He was tagged with the loss in his first start, making his second career Opening Day start (also 2011 for CIN). Tonight he is making his fourth career start against ARI, his first since 2010. He is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA against the Diamondbacks but has averaged 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 IP with 20 in his 17.1 innings of work. Volquez is looking to snap a five-decision losing streak that dates back to 7/5/11.
Tonight the Padres will face Trevor Cahill, who is making his 97th career start but his first ever against San Diego. In fact, Orlando Hudson (2-for-4) and Jason Bartlett (1-for-1) are the only Padres currently on the active roster to log plate appearances against Cahill in his career.
The players on the Padres active 25-man roster have combined to hit .248 (241-for-970) off Diamondbacks pitching in their career. Leading that group are Chase Headley (.282, 57-for-202), Nick Hundley (.303, 37-for-122), Chris Denorfia (.355, 22-for-62) and Jesus Guzman (.275, 11-for-40). For Hundley, a former University of Arizona Wildcat, his 37 hits against the Diamondbacks are his most against any opponent.
Following today’s series and trip finale in Philadelphia, the Padres return home for a nine-game homestand against three NL West division opponents (Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles). Here is who the Friars are scheduled to face over the first two series of that stretch:
ARIZONA (7/26-28): LHP Joe Saunders, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Daniel Hudson
COLORADO (7/29-31): RHP Jason Hammel, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP Juan Nicasio
The Padres are 7-7 combined against the Diamondbacks and Rockies so far this year, including a 3-3 mark at PETCO Park. Remember to pick up your free issue of the Blueprint. Here is a preview of this homestand’s cover: