On a weekend when Arizona is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its only World Series title, the current Diamondbacks continue to play like a team with their own lofty postseason expectations.
The NL West-leading Diamondbacks try to extend their franchise-record home winning streak to 15 games Saturday night when they continue their series with the San Diego Padres.
Using coaches, players and executives in town from the 2001 championship team for inspiration, Arizona (84-61) has ridden solid pitching and just enough offense to take the first two games of this four-game set.
“(Seeing that team) will help us understand exactly where we want to go,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.
After a 4-1 victory Thursday, Daniel Hudson(notes) recorded his third complete game of the season Friday and Lyle Overbay(notes) delivered a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to give the Diamondbacks a 3-2 win. Overbay played his first two career games for the Diamondbacks in 2001.
Arizona, which hasn’t lost at home since falling 9-1 to Houston on Aug. 8, has won 15 of 17 overall to take an 8 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the West. The Diamondbacks are just one-half game behind Milwaukee for a chance to earn home-field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
Justin Upton(notes) hit his 30th homer Friday to join the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson(notes) and the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp(notes) as the only players this season with at least 30 homers and 20 stolen bases. Upton, who has a chance to homer in four straight games for the first time in his career, has hit four solo home runs while going 8 for 20 in his last five contests.
Seven of Upton’s 15 hits in 49 at-bats against San Diego this season have left the park.
“I’m not trying to do too much,” he said. “Our confidence is there and we’re confident going late into the game that we can scratch something across if the game’s close.”
After allowing one earned run Friday, Hudson lowered the Diamondbacks’ staff ERA to 2.27 ERA during the 14-game home run. Arizona has also allowed just six runs - four earned - during a six-game home winning streak over San Diego (62-83).
Arizona rookie Wade Miley(notes) (3-1, 3.52 ERA) tries to win his fourth straight start in his fifth career outing when the takes the mound against the Padres for the first time. The left-hander allowed two runs and struck out six in seven innings of a 10-7 victory at Colorado on Monday.
“(I) go out and just try to keep the team in the ballgame as long as possible,” said Miley, whose ERA is 1.89 during his three-start winning streak.
San Diego counters with Tim Stauffer(notes) (8-12, 3.83), who looks to avoid losing a fourth consecutive start. The right-hander allowed four runs in six innings of a 7-2 loss to the Giants on Monday to fall to 0-3 with an 8.56 ERA since beating Florida on Aug. 18.
“Physically and mentally I feel strong and good,” Stauffer said. “I’m just not executing as well as I need to be. I’m just not putting guys away when I have a chance to.”
Stauffer is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts versus Arizona this season, including a 6-1 loss at Chase Field on May 17 in which he gave up four runs in 5 1-3 innings.
The Padres have lost 13 of 15 overall.