Richard hopes to stay hot in the desert

Clayton Richard aims to win his fifth consecutive decision on Thursday when the San Diego Padres close out a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Richard might not have a problem staying in the win column, as he is a brilliant 5-0 lifetime versus the Diamondbacks with a 3.80 ERA in seven starts.

The left-hander celebrated his 29th birthday with a win over the St. Louis Cardinals his last time out on Sept. 12, as he surrendered two runs and three hits in seven innings to run his record to 13-12 on the year to go along with a 3.74 ERA.

"It's exciting when you're winning and playing good baseball," said Richard.

Arizona, meanwhile, will counter with 21-year-old lefty Tyler Skaggs, who is 1-2 with a 5.55 ERA. Skaggs lost to San Francisco on Friday, allowing five runs and five hits in only four innings.

Since allowing only five combined runs over his first three major league starts, Skaggs has given up 10 runs in his last two outings, tossing just seven innings in the process.

"It's unacceptable on my part the last two outings," Skaggs said. "It's almost embarrassing."

Skaggs surrendered five runs to the Padres in just three innings two starts ago.

On Wednesday, Justin Upton finished with a pair of doubles and scored twice, while Trevor Cahill pitched six solid frames, as Arizona rolled to a 6-2 win.

Cahill (12-11) yielded two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks to win his third straight. Adam Eaton had a run-scoring triple for the Diamondbacks, who have won three straight and remain 4 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card berth in the National League.

"He (Cahill) certainly gave us the innings we were looking for," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.

Edinson Volquez (10-11) took the loss, giving up four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts over six frames. John Baker finished 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Padres, who have dropped two in a row.

San Diego is 10-7 against Arizona this season, going 6-2 at Chase Field. The Padres had won seven straight in the desert before dropping the first two games of this set.