Superb pitching has carried the Arizona Diamondbacks during much of their franchise-best home win streak. Adding to that run might help the Diamondbacks move a step closer to home-field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
Arizona (83-61) has a 2.36 ERA during its 13 consecutive victories at Chase Field and a 1.29 ERA during the past seven of those games. Diamondbacks starters have also posted a 1.61 ERA while helping their team win 14 of 16 overall.
Ian Kennedy(notes) allowed one run over 7 2-3 innings and struck out 11 during Thursday’s 4-1 victory over San Diego, his NL-best 19th win. Paul Goldschmidt(notes) and Justin Upton(notes) homered as the Diamondbacks pushed their NL West lead to 7 1/2 games over San Francisco with their fifth straight home victory over the Padres (62-82), losers in 12 of 14.
The Diamondbacks trail Milwaukee by 1 1/2 games for home-field in the first round and the likely chance to face wild card-leading Atlanta instead of NL-best Philadelphia.
“We’re not just going to try and gain a playoff berth and just let our guard down,” manager Kirk Gibson told the team’s official website. “(The playoff berth is) the first thing we’re after. We’re after home-field advantage if we can get that and then beyond, all the way.
“We’re not just hoping to make the playoffs. Understand that we’ll be the underdog if we get in there, and that’s fine. That’s right where we want to be.”
Hudson (15-9, 3.53 ERA) will try to reduce Arizona’s magic number by adding to his string of dominant outings. He has a 1.19 ERA over his three consecutive wins, and gave up one run and three hits over seven innings during a 4-1 victory in San Francisco on Sunday.
Hudson has been almost as stellar in four career starts against the Padres, going 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA. The right-hander, though, suffered that lone defeat in his most recent matchup July 28, allowing four runs over six innings in a 4-3 defeat.
Mat Latos(notes) (7-13, 3.77) pitched opposite Hudson in that game but did not get a decision. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three career starts against Arizona and earned that lone win in his first matchup last August at Chase Field.
Latos enters this start after earning his third win in 16 outings, a 7-2 victory over Colorado on Sunday. He allowed two runs over seven innings and matched a season high with eight strikeouts.
“I decided in my mind that I wanted to go out, by any means necessary, and win this game,” Latos said.
Montero is batting .382 in his last 15 games against the Padres and went 1 for 3 against Latos in the loss July 28.
With a win Friday, Arizona would match the longest home win streak in the majors this season. Cleveland won 14 in a row April 3-May 10.