The Diamondbacks will see old friend Ian Kennedy in the middle game of a three-game series against the Padres that begins Monday, the opener of a nine-game homestand that for the D-backs has a must-make-a-move feel to it.
Kennedy, who won 21 games for the D-backs in 2011, is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in four starts since joining the Padres in a deal for Joe Thatcher, Matt Stites and a draft pick at the July 31 trade deadline. Kennedy pitched seven scoreless innings in his last appearance, which came against the Pirates on Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks (66-63) also play host to the Giants and Blue Jays on the homestand after losing five of the last seven games on a road trip to Cincinnati and Philadelphia. They are 9 12 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and seven games behind the Reds for the second NL wild-card spot with 33 games remaining.
The 12-7, 18-inning victory over the Phillies on Saturday came with some history. It was the longest game in franchise history in terms of time at 7:06, and it made the D-backs first team in major league history to go 3-0 in games of at least 16 innings in a season, Elias said.
But it also will have repercussions. Trevor Cahill, who was scheduled to start Tuesday, will be pushed back after throwing four scoreless innings Saturday to end the victory in his first career relief appearance. Class AAA right-hander Zeke Spruill and Class AA Mobile left-hander David Holmberg appear to be the top candidates to replace Cahill for that start. Holmberg, 5-7 with a 2.66 ERA, threw seven shutout innings in his most recent start for the BayBears. Tyler Skaggs started Sunday for Reno and thus is unavailable.
The Padres have won eight of the 12 games in the season series and have won 19 of the last 30 game between the two.
Pitching matchups: Monday -- RHP Tyson Ross (3-6, 2.85) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-8, 5.44). Tuesday -- RHP Ian Kennedy (5-9, 4.88) vs. TBA. Wednesday -- TBA vs. LHP Wade Miley (9-8, 3.60).
Who's hot for the Diamondbacks: Since the start of August, Martin Prado leads the major leagues with 35 hits and leads the National League with 24 RBIs. Prado has 13 home runs and 65 RBIs this season, leaving him two homers and five RBIs from tying career highs. He was given Sunday off with a sore lower back. Adam Eaton has 13 hits and seven RBIs in his last 36 at-bats (.361) Aaron Hill is hitting .391 with four homers and 14 RBIs in his last 17 games. He did not play Sunday after leaving Saturday's game in the seventh inning with groin tightness. Paul Goldschmidt has 14 hits and two homers in his last 39 at-bats.
Who's not hot for the Diamondbacks: Brandon McCarthy is 0-4 with a 6.98 ERA in his four starts since coming off the disabled list Aug. 4. He had a quality start in his lone home appearance in that span, however, giving up two runs in six innings of a 4-1 loss to the Mets on Aug. 10. Jason Kubel has three hits in his last 24 at-bats. Joe Thatcher has given up four hits, three walks and two runs in his last five appearances.
Who's hot for the Padres: Will Venable is hitting .365 with nine doubles and eight homers since the All-Star break. His slugging percentage since the break is higher than Miguel Cabrera's. Jedd Gyorko has eight home runs in August, with four doubles, six homers, 10 RBI and seven runs scored in his last 14 games. Huston Street has converted 10 straight save opportunities and is 25 of 26 this season. He has made 17 straight scoreless appearances. Chris Denorfia is a .329 career hitter with nine homers and 18 RBIs against the D-backs. Since returning to the starting rotation on July 23, Tyson Ross has given up nine runs in 40 13 innings (2.01 ERA), including a 1-0 victory at Chase Field on July 28.
Who's not hot for the Padres: Yonder Alonso has four hits in his last 19 at-bats and has has only two extra-base hits, both doubles, in August. He has six homers but has not hit one since May 19, a stretch of 48 games. He missed six weeks with a right hand contusion starting June 1. Ronny Cedeno has four hits in his last 20 at-bats.
Notes, quotes, odds and ends: These days, it is wise to pack for a long night. With their 18-inning game Saturday, the D-backs have played seven games of at least 14 innings this season, only the third team to do that since 1920. The Cardinals (1928) and Cubs (1980) are the other two. The D-backs are 6-1 in those games. "The whole extra-inning thing, it takes a toll, but it's kind of a fun thing. If we keep playing the games, we'll take it," said Cahill, who made his first career relief appearance Saturday after 147 starts. The Diamondbacks' bullpen is not the only one that needs a little relief entering the series. Padres relievers have thrown 19 innings in the last three games after a 15-inning win over the Cubs on Sunday. The D-backs have used 17 relief innings, 12 in Philadelphia on Saturday San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera is still second in the NL with 37 stolen bases even though he has not played since Aug. 2 after being suspended 50 games for violating baseball's substance abuse policy. His name came up in the Biogenesis investigation, and the Padres signed Cedeno to replace him. D-backs long reliever Josh Collmenter has pitched 25 23 innings in extra-inning games this season, the fourth-most in the majors since 1974, when Rich Gossage had 28 23 innings. Tony Campana and Cliff Pennington walked five times Saturday, tying a franchise record for walks in a game while becoming the first pair of teammates with five walks in a game since 1916.