(SportsNetwork.com) - National League West Division rivals Arizona and San Diego are set to square off for the first time this season, as the Padres welcome the Diamondbacks to Petco Park for the opener of a three-game series.
At 9-22, Arizona enters with the worst record in the majors. In fact, the Diamondbacks are off to their worst start in club history despite a franchise- record $100 million payroll.
"How would I characterize it?" manager Kirk Gibson pondered. "Underachieving. We haven't played well. We talk about it every day. We're much better than this."
However, Arizona did manage to end a four-game slide on Wednesday with a 5-4 victory over Colorado in extra innings. Starter Josh Collmenter dug the team an early 4-0 deficit after three innings, but he kept the Rockies off the scoreboard over the next four frames. Martin Prado tied it with a two-run home run in the ninth inning, and in the 10th, Miguel Montero delivered a walkoff homer to complete the comeback.
"We needed that," Gibson said. "It was good that the guys hung in there."
After having an off day Thursday, the D'backs now begin a nine-game road trip that also includes stops in Milwaukee and Chicago.
Meanwhile, San Diego has dropped four of its last six games and is coming off Wednesday's 3-2 setback at San Francisco. It was the 11th time in 14 games they did not score more than three runs, as the offense ranks last in the majors with 2.7 runs per game.
San Diego's floundering offense collected only 17 hits during the three-game series with the Giants, including Tuesday's 6-0 shutout.
Manager Bud Black will turn to Padres staff ace Andrew Cashner for Friday's series opener. After posting a 1.27 ERA over his first four starts, Cashner has allowed four earned runs in each of his last two. The right-hander was tagged for a season-high nine hits to go along with five strikeouts at Washington in his last outing.
For Arizona, veteran Bronson Arroyo gets the nod after turning in his best outing of the year against the Phillies on Saturday. Arroyo held Philadelphia to two runs over 6 1/3 innings and did not allow a homer for the first time in five starts.
Arizona's starting rotation has gone 5-18 with a major league-worst 6.29 ERA collectively. Over the last three games, the team's starters have given up 15 runs on 26 hits, including five long balls. But on a positive note, Arroyo has posted a 2.18 ERA over his last five starts against San Diego.
San Diego went 12-7 against the D'backs last season with an 8-2 mark at Petco.