Padres-Diamondbacks Preview

KATE HEDLIN (STATS Writer)
The Associated PressSeptember 19, 2012

The Arizona Diamondbacks' struggles with the San Diego Padres this season have proved costly, but they're hoping it's not too late to turn things around.

After a rare win over San Diego in this series opener, the Diamondbacks will go for their third straight victory Wednesday night when they continue this three-game set at Chase Field.

Arizona (73-74) had lost eight of nine to the Padres since the beginning of July - including six straight at home - heading into Tuesday's contest, but won 3-2 to stay 4 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card. The Cardinals also won, and four other teams still sit between those two clubs in the standings.

San Diego (71-77) had averaged 6.78 runs in the previous nine games in the series before running into Ian Kennedy, who allowed one run in eight innings.

"They were playing pretty good, they've beaten a lot of people," Kennedy said. "They've taken care of us the last few times here. They are a good team."

Trevor Cahill (11-11, 3.92 ERA) will try to keep things going for Arizona as he looks to win his third straight start.

Cahill allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings of a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers last Wednesday, striking out seven.

"I felt confident I could throw all four pitches anytime in the count," said Cahill, who gave up both runs in the first. "If you only have two pitches working and they know it and I know it, you end up trying to throw too fine a pitch."

The right-hander is 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA in four starts against the Padres this year. His shortest start of the season came when San Diego visited Phoenix on Aug. 26, chasing Cahill after he allowed four runs in just 3 2-3 innings.

San Diego, which has won nine of its last 12 games but is now seven behind St. Louis, will hand the ball to Edinson Volquez (10-10, 4.24) on Wednesday.

Volquez has won three of his last four starts, though his latest was hardly a work of art. He allowed three runs, four hits and six walks over 5 1-3 innings Sept. 11 in a 6-4 victory over St. Louis.

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts against the Diamondbacks this year, striking out 20 over 20 innings.

Chris Young, who is 2 for 15 with seven strikeouts against Volquez, could be out again after aggravating a right quadriceps injury while running down a fly ball for the first out of Tuesday's game.

"Extremely frustrating,'' said Young, who was in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 3. "Game speed's just a little different, so as soon as I had to turn it up, it grabbed on me, and it's time to start from scratch again, it seems like.''