After a lopsided defeat in their latest game in San Diego, the Arizona Diamondbacks still need at least two victories in their final four contests to finish this season with a winning record.
Red-hot Paul Goldschmidt will try to lead his club to the first of those wins in Thursday's series finale against the Padres while extending his hit streak to 16 games.
A visit to San Diego isn't providing too much help in Arizona's attempt to finish above .500. The Diamondbacks (80-78) have dropped seven of their nine road games against the Padres (74-84) this season and were routed 12-2 on Wednesday night.
Goldschmidt, though, doubled in the fourth inning to keep his streak going. He's batting .417 (25 for 60) with 13 extra-base hits during his run, including five of his NL-best 36 homers.
The first baseman, who also leads his league with 124 RBIs, will face Robbie Erlin (3-3, 4.34 ERA) for the first time. Goldschmidt was given the night off when the Padres rookie left-hander gave up one run over six innings in a 5-1 win in Arizona on Aug. 28 following his fourth recall this year from Triple-A.
Erlin is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts in his latest stint in the majors. He gave up four hits in 7 2-3 innings and matched a season high with seven strikeouts during a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
"Hopefully it is a sign of good things to come. Robbie has pitched well the last couple of starts and has to be impressing the coaches," said second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who had one of his team's three homers Wednesday.
Arizona's Trevor Cahill (8-10, 4.02), meanwhile, will seek to finish the season with a sixth consecutive victory. The right-hander has a 2.64 ERA in his last seven starts and one relief appearance in an 18-inning game in Philadelphia on Aug. 24.
Cahill has also given up one earned run in each of his last three starts. He also gave up two runs total in his 5 2-3 innings in Saturday's 7-2 victory in Colorado despite taking a line drive off his right hip in the opening frame.
Cahill was also hit in that same spot June 19 against Miami and went on the disabled list July 1 because of a hip contusion.
"It wasn't as bad (as the June 19 hit). It kind of glanced off," he told the team's website. "It was kind of sore for a couple of innings and actually felt better as the game went along."
He suffered a 2-1 loss in his only matchup with San Diego this year June 14 at Petco Park. Cahill gave up two runs and matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in his 5 2-3 innings in that game.
Cahill is 2-3 with a 2.72 ERA in six career matchups with the Padres and 1-1 with a 1.31 ERA in his three visits to San Diego.
Alexi Amarista is 6 for 11 with a home run and a double lifetime against Cahill but is also currently mired in a 1-for-36 slump. Willie Bloomquist went 3 for 3 against Erlin in last month's game.
Goldschmidt had a career-best, 17-game hit streak May 19-June 10, 2012.
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