Padres-Diamondbacks Preview

The Associated Press

In his expected return to the starting lineup, the San Diego Padres' Carlos Quentin seeks to continue his recent standout performances against one of his former clubs, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The injury-plagued outfielder also attempts to help the red-hot Tyson Ross bounce back from a hard-luck defeat Monday night, while Arizona's Brandon McCarthy tries to continue his dominance against San Diego.

After missing four consecutive games with a sore right groin, Quentin hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. He produced an RBI single in his lone at-bat Sunday that helped provide San Diego (23-28) enough cushion to hold on for a 4-3 victory.

Quentin has appeared in just six games this season mainly because of an ailing left knee but is 6 for 14 (.429) with two homers and five RBIs. He also hit a pinch-hit homer in an 8-5 win in Colorado on May 17 and is 3-for-3 in that role.

"He's feeling better so we think he'll be good to go tomorrow," manager Bud Black said.

A matchup with Arizona could prove ideal for Quentin's return. He's is batting .400 (10 for 25) with a 1.163 OPS in his last seven games against the team he played with in his first two seasons.

Quentin is also hitting .400 (14 for 35) with a 1.202 OPS in his last 10 games at Chase Field.

Ross (5-4, 2.64 ERA) has also fared well against the Diamondbacks (20-32), going 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four starts. He gave up three runs - one earned - in seven innings May 4 in his lone meeting this season, a 4-3 victory that allowed the Padres to avoid a three-game home sweep.

That outing began a four-game stretch in which he's given up one earned run over seven innings, going 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA. He allowed three hits for the second straight game while striking out eight for the third consecutive start Wednesday against Minnesota, but suffered a 2-0 defeat.

McCarthy (1-6, 4.67) earned his lone win of the season against the Padres on May 3, pitching seven scoreless innings in a 4-3 victory. The right-hander has given up one run in each of his last two games, a combined 14 innings, but has not received decisions while getting one total run of support.

He pitched six innings in St. Louis on Wednesday but exited with Arizona trailing 1-0 in a 3-2 loss in 12 innings.

The Diamondbacks don't appear poised to provide McCarthy with too much help in this game either. They batted .159 and scored 11 runs on a 2-4 road trip, with Paul Goldschmidt going 5 for 24 with eight strikeouts.

Arizona still managed to win the first two games against the New York Mets this weekend before losing 4-2 in the finale of Sunday's doubleheader. The Diamondbacks went 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position during those two games.

"We're in a funk. We're not swinging the bats well at all. We didn't really give ourselves much of a chance," manager Kirk Gibson told the team's website. Our pitching was pretty decent. You can't expect to win every game 2-1."

McCarthy is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in four career starts against San Diego. He has allowed one run or fewer and pitched seven innings in three of those games.

Goldschmidt is 5 for 12 against the Padres this season - including a homer off Ross. He is 4 for 11 with two home runs and a triple in his career against the right-hander.