Arizona (53-51) at San Diego (41-65)

Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Mon Jul 28, 2008
  • TV: FSAZ, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In the midst of the longest winless stretch of his career, future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux can’t be too excited about having to face the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

Maddux looks to win his first game in 2 1/2 months against a team he’s never had much luck against on Monday when the San Diego Padres open a three-game series versus the Diamondbacks.

Since earning his 350th career victory on May 10, Maddux (3-8, 4.18 ERA) is 0-5 with a 4.54 ERA in his last 14 starts.

He’s been hit hard in a few of those outings, but in nine of those starts he’s given up two earned runs or less. A hapless offense and inconsistent bullpen have been the reason for his winless drought.

The Padres (41-65) have scored the second-fewest runs in the majors (403), and Maddux’s 3.74 run support average since May 15 is the fifth-worst in the NL in that span.

On Wednesday at Cincinnati, the right-hander allowed three runs - two earned - and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings and left with a 3-2 lead, but San Diego went on to lose 9-5.

“I appreciate the fact that I’m still playing,” the 42-year-old pitcher said. “I appreciate the fact that I still play good enough to win. I haven’t won, but I feel like I’ve been playing (good). And I do appreciate that.”

While Maddux has been pitching decent, including a 2.94 ERA in eight home starts during his skid, he has had no luck against Arizona (53-51) in his career.

The four-time Cy Young Award winner is 2-11 with a 5.29 ERA in 19 starts versus the Diamondbacks, his worst record and ERA against any NL opponent. In his only start of 2008 against Arizona on April 18, Maddux was tagged for a season-high nine runs and career high-tying 13 hits in seven innings of a 9-0 loss.

The Diamondbacks are coming off a three-game sweep at San Francisco, capped by Sunday’s 7-2 victory. Arizona has won five of six and owns a one-game lead over the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the division.

Conor Jackson has been a big part of the Diamondbacks’ recent surge, as he’s batting .514 (19-for-37) with four home runs, eight RBIs and 13 runs in nine games since the All-Star break. He went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and three runs on Sunday, but is 1-for-21 (.048) in his last five games versus San Diego.

Micah Owings (6-8, 5.40) returns to Arizona’s rotation Monday for the first time in nearly three weeks.

Owings got off to a solid start to the year, going 5-1 with a 3.81 ERA in his first eight starts, but went 1-7 with a 6.92 ERA in his next nine and had been demoted to the bullpen. In his last relief appearance on Wednesday, the right-hander yielded five runs, two hits, three walks and retired just one batter in Arizona’s 10-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Despite that rough outing, Owings is set to make his first start since July 9.

“We saw Micah have a great second half last year after a little bit of a lull similar to this season, and we expect him to pick it up,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin told the team’s official Web site.

In his only start of the season against the Padres on April 26, Owings gave up five runs and five hits in five innings of an 8-7, 13-inning loss. He is 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four career starts versus them.

San Diego defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 on Sunday for its third straight victory after losing 22 of its previous 28 games. This is the Padres’ longest winning streak since a season-best five-game run June 4-8.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Owings Was vs. G. Maddux LAD
6-9 Record 8-13
5.93 ERA 4.22
87 K 98
41 BB 30
1.39 WHIP 1.21

Scoreboard

Monday, Jul 28