Unable to clinch the series win last night, the Padres will try to take the rubber game today against the Diamondbacks. They'll hand Edinson Volquez the ball in the series finale to go for his second career win against Arizona. After taking losses in each of his first three starts this season, Volquez has gone 2-0 in his last three starts, coming into today's game off back-to-back wins. In four outings against the Dbacks last season, he went 1-1 and struck out 25 batters over 26 innings of work.
Going for the Dbacks will be Ian Kennedy, who hasn't won since Opening Day. He's hoping to end his slump by beating the Padres, against whom he's 7-1 with a 2.79 ERA all-time. He's done especially well in San Diego, where he's gone 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in four career starts. In 24 innings pitched at Petco Park, he's collected 37 strikeouts while giving up just 12 hits.
Arizona's offense combined for just five runs over Kennedy's last four starts. But lately Dbacks hitters have turned up the dial, averaging nearly seven runs per game over their last three games and homering in each of their last five.
Prior to last night, the Padres offense seemed to have kicked it up as well. They had gone on a four-game stretch where they went 3-1 and averaged 6.5 runs per game. Chris Denorfia has raked this series, going 4-for-9 with a homer. He's hitting 3-for-12 lifetime and has struck out four times against Kennedy, however. Chase Headley and Yonder Alonso have fared better against the right-hander. Headley, who extended his hitting streak to nine games last night, is 6-for-20 with a double, triple, and home run off Kennedy. Alonso, team leader in home runs (4) and RBI (19), is 6-for-12 with a homer off him.