The Padres look to complete a three-game series sweep of the Diamondbacks for the first time in almost two years Sunday afternoon at Petco Park.
San Diego (5-6) opened the season by losing six of nine before beating Arizona 6-3 to open this series Friday. Nick Hundley(notes) provided the offensive spark Saturday, going 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs to power a 5-0 win as five Padres pitchers combined on a four-hitter.
“I thought we played a solid game,” manager Bud Black said after San Diego secured its first series win of 2010. “It was well-pitched, obviously … We had some great defensive plays along the way. A good, clean all-around game.”
The Padres haven’t swept a three-game series since taking each meeting with Washington from Aug. 31-Sept. 2. They last accomplished the feat against the Diamondbacks (5-6) from Aug. 25-27, 2008, at home.
San Diego dropped two of three at Arizona in a season-opening series, but the Padres’ pitchers have combined to hold the Diamondbacks to three runs and eight hits over the last two wins. The bullpen has been flawless, allowing one hit with 10 strikeouts in 7 1-3 scoreless innings.
The Padres might need to call on the relievers again with Wade LeBlanc(notes) expected to be recalled from Triple-A Portland for a spot start in place of Chris Young, who is on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain.
LeBlanc went 3-1 with a 3.69 ERA in nine starts last year. The left-hander was solid in six innings against Arizona at home Sept. 15, allowing one run and three hits in six innings while not getting a decision in a 4-2 loss.
The Diamondbacks are trying to snap a three-game slide, but are struggling at the plate in this series with a .131 batting average while going 15 innings without a run. They didn’t get a runner past second Saturday.
Arizona will send Ian Kennedy(notes) (0-1, 8.68) to the mound hoping he can get his first win since making his major league debut with the Yankees on Sept. 1, 2007. Since then, the right-hander is 0-5 with a 6.97 ERA in 15 games - 13 starts.
Kennedy, who was acquired in a three-team, seven-player trade during the offseason, saw his drought continue with Tuesday’s 9-5 road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was tagged for six runs and six hits, including three homers, while throwing 100 pitches in 4 1-3 innings.
“I’ve got to go after guys and get ahead of them. I felt like I was pitching behind the whole time,” Kennedy said Tuesday. “It was obviously disappointing for me, and I’m really frustrated with it. I’m just going to work hard for my next start. I don’t have anything positive to take away from this one.”
Kennedy didn’t factor in the decision of his only start against San Diego on April 7, allowing three runs and six hits with eight strikeouts in five innings of a 5-3 win.