MLB

Diamondbacks-Padres Preview

The San Diego Padres haven't come close to fulfilling expectations with a sub-.500 record, but completing their first sweep in nearly two months would certainly be a step in the right direction.

They'll go for just that Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who continue to be hampered by poor pitching.

San Diego (37-40) has taken the first two of this series with Arizona (35-39), stifling the Diamondbacks in a 4-2 win on Friday before riding an impressive offensive showing to a 7-2 victory Saturday.

Justin Upton hit a two-run homer in the most recent win, Matt Kemp drove in his 40th run and Derek Norris knocked in his 42nd. Those three, who were all acquired in the offseason, have combined for four runs and six RBIs this series for an offense previously ranked 15th in the majors with 4.16 runs per game.

''The two-run homer by Justin really hurt us,'' Arizona manager Chip Hale said. ''You have certain guys on teams you try to make sure don't beat you, and he's the guy on this club.''

Will Venable had his 10th multi-hit effort this month and is batting .423 against Arizona this season.

The opening two victories mark the Padres' first consecutive wins since a season-best four-game run June 2-6, and they'll seek their first sweep since opening May with three straight wins against Colorado.

The Diamondbacks have posted a 5.80 ERA during a 2-5 stretch after compiling a 2.32 mark while winning five of the previous seven.

Chase Anderson (3-2, 3.54 ERA) will look to be the stopper for Arizona, although he is coming off the worst outing of his career. The right-hander allowed eight runs and three homers in 4 2-3 innings of a 10-5 loss at Colorado on Tuesday, failing to carry the momentum from a three-start stretch in which he owned a 1.45 ERA.

"I've just go to keep the ball down," Anderson told MLB's official website. "That's the only thing I can really take from this. Baseball you have those days, and you learn from them."

He's 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his past three starts versus the Padres. Kemp is 4 for 11 with a homer and double against him.

The Diamondbacks have lost three straight and would match a season worst with a defeat Sunday, though they had plenty of success against San Diego's Odrisamer Despaigne in their last meeting with the Padres right-hander.

Despaigne (3-5, 4.83) allowed eight runs and 10 hits over five innings in an 11-0 loss at Chase Field on May 7. Paul Goldschmidt homered off Despaigne in that game for his only hit in seven career at-bats.

Despaigne has been up and down in recent showings, allowing two runs in five innings of a 3-2 win in San Francisco on Tuesday, but preceded that outing with six runs allowed in a 16-2 loss in Oakland.

He's found most of his success at Petco Park, where he has a 2.21 ERA in his last three starts, compared to a 6.35 mark in his past three on the road.

Goldschmidt had one hit Saturday for the eighth straight game, but was held without an RBI for only the second time in six contests. He's reached base in 68 of 74 games this season and 26 of his last 27 against San Diego.

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