They’ll return from a 10-game road trip to take on the sputtering Mets in the opener of a three-game set Monday night.
San Diego (54-68) has won seven of 11, including a four-game split in New York (58-62) last week. The Padres suffered one-run losses in the first two games before winning the last two, capped by a come-from-behind 3-2 win Thursday.
They followed that series by dropping two of three at Cincinnati but won Sunday’s finale 7-4 to pull off a winning road trip. During that 6-4 stretch, the Padres averaged 7.0 runs and hit .298.
“I like the way we played on this trip,” manager Bud Black told the team’s official website. “We swung the bat better, we had better situational hitting, the defense is tightening up and we’re still pitching well enough to win. We’re playing better baseball.”
Beginning a seven-game homestand versus the Mets may keep San Diego surging since it has won 10 of the last 12 meetings at Petco Park. New York has never won a series there, last winning one in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium in 2002.
Cameron Maybin(notes) went 7 for 18 with a homer, three RBIs, five runs and three stolen bases at New York last week. He added his 31st steal Sunday, tying Los Angeles’ Matt Kemp(notes) for third in the NL after totaling 19 over the past four seasons with Detroit and Florida.
“That’s how we play,” Maybin said. “We need to find ways to do the little things to win games. If we continue to believe in it, good things will start to happen. We believe in our pitching staff.”
Harang is 4-1 in his last five starts despite a 6.51 ERA, getting 37 runs of support.
Despite beating the Mets last week, Harang is 1-3 with a 6.98 ERA in his last four starts against them while New York has hit .393. David Wright(notes) is 9 for 15 lifetime off Harang while Jason Bay(notes) has hit .347 (17 for 49) with five homers and six doubles, but that duo accounted for only a single in six at-bats against him Wednesday.
R.A. Dickey(notes) (5-11, 3.75) lost to Harang in that game and will oppose him again Monday. It was the knuckleballer’s first career meeting with the Padres, yielding five runs - three earned - in six innings.
Dickey is trying to avoid losing a fourth straight start, which would match a career high set with Texas from May 13-28, 2004. He has a 3.79 ERA in the last three but has received four runs of support.
“Once in a while, that happens to guys, where it just seems the day they pitch, the team doesn’t play well,” manager Terry Collins told the team’s official website. “I don’t have an answer to it.”
The Mets have dropped 11 of 14, including five in a row since last beating the Padres.