The Padres closed out their series in Milwaukee with a win and now look to get a win streak going tonight as they open up a three-game set in Arizona. The Diamondbacks just recently got pushed out of the top spot in the NL West by the Dodgers, so they're hoping some success against the Padres this series will help them regain the division lead. San Diego has dominated the season series so far, however, taking six of the nine games between the two teams so far this year. They are also 15-6 in the last 21 games dating back to 2012 in this division matchup. But on their only previous visit to Chase Field this season, the Diamondbacks took the series 2-1, so they're hoping that home field advantage will work in their favor again.
The Padres will give the ball to Eric Stults in tonight's series opener. In his last start he gave up three runs in six innings of work against the Cardinals and was unable to collect his third win in as many starts, but still pitched a solid outing. Tonight's start will be his third of the season against Arizona. On May 24th, he surrendered four runs in 6 1/3 innings en route to a 5-2 loss on the road. But three weeks later, he threw a two-hitter against them at home for a 2-1 complete-game victory.
While Stults is no stranger to pitching against the Dbacks, his opponent will be facing the Padres for the very first time. Randall Delgado is making his eighth start for Arizona and, despite his 2-3 record, has been a solid addition to the rotation in the midst of his team's injury woes. Tonight's performance could determine whether or not he gets to stay in the rotation with both Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy both scheduled to return from the DL next week. Delgado has been great in his previous seven starts, allowing no more than three runs. However, he's received a 2.71 average run support, third lowest in the league. He is coming off a strong win against the Giants in San Francisco, where he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings despite issuing a season-high four walks.
He'll need to pitch just as well against the Padres, who have been playing better ball since the All-Star Break. They're hitting .300 as a team while averaging five runs and going 4-3 through these first seven games, all on the road. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, have dropped five of their seven games since the ASB.