Despite playing for woeful clubs, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Mark Reynolds(notes) and the San Diego Padres’ Heath Bell(notes) have become emerging stars this season, but they’re headed in opposite directions as the season winds down.
Reynolds and Arizona enter Wednesday’s finale of a three-game series searching for their first road sweep of the Padres in more than three years.
The Arizona third baseman hit a two-run shot off Bell in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s 4-2 victory for his 42nd home run. That win came a night after the Diamondbacks (64-82) scored two runs in the 10th for another 4-2 win in San Diego (65-81).
That career year could take the sting out of Reynolds potentially topping his own major league-record 204 strikeouts, set last season. With 16 games left, he is eight shy of tying that mark.
“I don’t care about the strikeouts,” he told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site. “I know I do things to help this team win.”
Bell, meanwhile, is tied for the NL lead with 37 saves in his first season after taking over for all-time leader Trevor Hoffman(notes), but he’s blown his last two opportunities before suffering Tuesday’s loss.
“Right now, I’m going through a tough time,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate I’ve had three outings like this.”
While Bell struggled again, the win gives Arizona an opportunity for its first sweep in San Diego since April 24-26, 2006. With a victory, the Diamondbacks would also climb into a last-place tie with the Padres in the NL West.
However, Davis, who has a career high for losses this season, is 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in three starts against the Padres this season and 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his last five outings in San Diego.
The Padres are scheduled to give Edward Mujica(notes) (3-4, 3.33) his second career start. He allowed two hits over four scoreless innings Friday against visiting Colorado but did not get a decision in a 4-1 loss.
Mujica is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 7 2-3 career innings against the Diamondbacks, and Reynolds is hitless in three at-bats against him. Justin Upton(notes) homered and doubled in his four versus the right-hander.
Mujica will try to help the Padres avoid three straight losses for the first time since a four-game skid Aug. 13-16. San Diego had won 13 of 18 before this series.
With a victory, Arizona would also win the season series for a third straight year. The Diamondbacks, 9-5 against the Padres this season, are searching for their sixth straight victory over their division rivals, the longest streak since winning seven in a row July 25-Sept. 11, 2002.
The teams play three more games in Arizona from Sept. 25-27.