Patrick Corbin has a chance to become the first Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed starter to open a season 8-0.
San Diego Padres right-hander Jason Marquis will try to prevent that from happening Sunday, with both pitchers looking to win a sixth consecutive start.
As one of two Diamondbacks left-handers to begin a season with at least six straight winning decisions - Randy Johnson is the other - Corbin (7-0, 1.44 ERA) delivered the best start of his career Monday. He pitched a three-hitter with a career-best 10 strikeouts in a 5-1 victory over Colorado.
He threw 97 pitches, 74 for strikes, as Arizona (27-22) improved to 9-0 in his starts.
"He just pitched an unbelievable game,'' Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said.
Corbin, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (1.35) for NL ERA lead, can become the first Diamondbacks starter since Brandon Webb in 2008 to open 8-0. Webb won his first nine outings that season.
Marquis (6-2, 3.27) has matched the longest winning streak of his career, set twice before, and that sets up the first game since Aug. 7, 2011, in which both pitchers had won their previous five starts. Kershaw and Arizona's Ian Kennedy squared off in that contest.
Having the highest run-support average on the team at 4.75 surely helps, but Marquis has also been able to pitch around control issues. He's walking a league-high 4.58 per nine innings after issuing four in a 4-2 victory over St. Louis on Monday, when he threw six innings of two-run ball.
"Obviously, I got away with more mistakes probably a few years back, but I feel like I'm making better pitches in bigger situations now,'' Marquis said. "I've learned to slow the game down more than anything."
The Padres (22-26) will look for Marquis to deliver another solid outing after ending a three-game skid with a 10-4 victory Saturday. San Diego had dropped three of four in Arizona before shortstop Everth Cabrera drove in a career high-tying four runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle.
"I think the thing that we're impressed with, his coaches and his teammates, is the calm focus,'' manager Bud Black said. "He's locked in both offensively and defensively and you can see it in his play."
Cabrera is 5 for 10 with two homers and five RBIs in this three-game series, but he's hitless in seven at-bats versus Corbin, who threw seven innings of one-run ball in an 8-1 victory at San Diego on May 4.
Chris Denorfia hit his third career solo homer off Corbin in that contest.
Marquis faced the Diamondbacks a day earlier in a 7-6 victory, giving up three runs and a season-high five walks in six innings.