The Padres look for a fourth straight victory while trying to beat Arizona’s All-Star for the first time this season when they continue their road series with the last-place Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
The Padres (72-83) are 6-2 on their final road trip this season while improving to 15-7 in September and 34-21 since July 28 - the third-best record in the majors in that span.
“Our record indicates how we’ve played,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official Web site of his team’s improvement after losing 99 games a year ago. “I’m very proud of the way the guys have played.
“You have to turn the page as quickly as possible. I’m satisfied that we were able to do that.”
Looking to continue their success could be a challenge against Haren (14-9, 2.90 ERA), who’s 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 10 starts versus the Padres—averaging 5.3 runs on their swing.
The right-hander, who’ll need to win his last two starts to match his career high set last year, is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts versus San Diego this season.
Haren, though, looks to bounce back after giving up five runs and eight hits in eight innings of a 5-1 loss to Colorado on Sunday for his first defeat since Aug. 19.
“I had decent stuff. I gave it my best, it just wasn’t enough,” said Haren, who was 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his five starts between losses.
Though Gonzalez had a solid night Friday, the All-Star first baseman is batting .267 with a homer against Haren and .219 with seven RBIs on the road trip.
The left-hander is coming off another strong outing after giving up one run and five hits with five strikeouts in five innings of an 11-6, 11-inning win at Pittsburgh on Monday. LeBlanc, who was recalled from Triple-A Portland on Aug. 29, is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last four starts.
LeBlanc allowed one run and three hits in six innings, but didn’t receive a decision in a 4-2 loss on Sept. 15 when he made his only start against Arizona.
While the Diamondbacks have struggled at the plate, Upton is batting .320 in his last 13 games and .371 with 11 RBIs against San Diego this season.