A pair of teams with a glimmer of hope to make the playoffs clash Tuesday in the desert, as the Arizona Diamondbacks kick off a three-game series with the NL West-rival San Diego Padres at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks are 4 1/2 games off the last wild card spot in the National League and the Padres sit six games off the pace.
Arizona salvaged the finale of a three-game series versus San Francisco with Sunday's 10-2 pounding of the Giants. Patrick Corbin struck out five batters and allowed two runs in eight innings, and Josh Collmenter hurled a scoreless ninth inning to close it out.
Justin Upton finished 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, while Aaron Hill added two hits and two runs batted in for the Diamondbacks, who have won three of their last five games. Upton has three homers and seven RBI since Sept. 8.
"I wasn't squaring the ball up earlier in the season, but stringing together a couple of good days has been nice," Upton said.
Ian Kennedy will take the mound for the D-backs Monday and he is 13-11 with a 4.21 earned run average in 29 starts this season. Kennedy is 2-0 in his last three starts and has won seven of his last 10 decisions, including last Tuesday's 1-0 win over Los Angeles in which he tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings.
The right-hander has faced the Padres three times this season, going 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA, and is 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 career starts against them. Kennedy has made 12 starts at home this season and is 6-3 in that time.
San Diego has won nine of its last 11 games and just went 7-2 on a nine-game homestand. The club won two of three matchups with Colorado over the weekend and won the series with a 12-11 triumph on Sunday.
Yonder Alonso drove in Everth Cabrera with a single in the bottom of the ninth for the win and finished 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Cabrera had two hits, two runs scored and three RBI for the Padres. Logan Forsythe ended with four hits and a trio of runs scored.
"You can't take anything for granted, no matter what the score is," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Andrew Werner started for San Diego and gave up five runs in five innings for the no-decision. Joe Thatcher got the last two outs of the game for the win.
Eric Stults gets the nod for the Padres tonight and is unbeaten in his last 11 trips to the mound (5-0). Stults is coming off last Monday's 11-3 decision over St. Louis and scattered three runs in 5 1/3 innings for the win. He is 6-2 with a 2.54 earned run average in 15 games (11 starts) this season and 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA against the Diamondbacks in 2012.
Stults, a left-hander, has faced Arizona six times (4 starts) in his career and is 3-1 with a 4.33 ERA.
San Diego is 10-5 against Arizona this season, going 6-0 at Chase Field. The Padres have won seven straight in the desert.