MLB

Padres face streaking Robbie Ray on the mound for D-backs

PHOENIX -- Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray is on the best run of his career.

The San Diego Padres are playing as well as they have all season.

The question is, how will a change of venue affect either or both?

Ray will bring a stretch of 24 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings -- including each of this last three road starts -- into the first game of a three-game series against San Diego at Chase Field on Tuesday. Even five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson never had a scoreless streak that long during his time with the D-backs.

The Padres have won five of seven, with four of those victories coming at home in Petco Park.

San Diego rookie right-hander Dinelson Lamet (2-0, 2.70 ERA) will make his third start of the season after winning his first two. Most recently, he pitched five innings of two-run ball at home last Tuesday, helping the Padres sweep the defending World Series-champion Chicago Cubs in a three-game series before San Diego lost two of the three to the Colorado Rockies over the weekend.

"I think in general you're seeing more confidence from the young guys that they (can) compete with anyone in this league," San Diego manager Andy Green said after the Padres extended their winning streak to five games by beating Colorado on Friday.

Ray (5-3, 3.00 ERA) is coming off his first career shutout, a 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh last Tuesday in which he struck out 10 and threw 115 pitches. He will be pitching on six days' rest, the D-backs opting not to bring him back Sunday. Both teams had Monday off.

Ray was 3-0 and threw 23 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings on the D-backs' season-long 11-game road trip, in which they went 5-6 after losing three final three games over the weekend in Miami, including Edison Volquez's no-hitter on Saturday.

"I think we're obviously still in a very good spot," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said before the off day.

The D-backs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Rockies have not been separated by more than two games at the top of the NL West standings for the past 10 days.

Ray threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 9-1 victory at San Diego on May 20, the second game of the road trip. He threw seven scoreless innings in a 4-1 victory at Milwaukee on May 25, and he has not given up a run since Pittsburgh's Josh Bell hit a two-run homer in the third inning on May 14 at Chase Field.

He gave up six hits, five singles, and three walks while striking out 25 on the trip.

"I really feel like I'm getting in the groove with all my pitches," Ray said after his shutout. "The biggest thing for me is picking up the pace a little bit. Get the ball back, get on the rubber, get the sign and go."

Only Cy Young winner Brandon Webb has had longer scoreless streaks in Arizona history, 42 innings in 2007 and 25 in 2006.

Lamet will make his first appearance against Arizona. His starts have been similar -- with a five-inning victory and eight strikeouts in each one. He was recalled when Jered Weaver and Trevor Cahill went on the disabled list.

Ray is 2-4 with a 3.79 ERA in six career starts against San Diego. He is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in five home starts this season.