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News » Diamondbacks-Padres Preview 2009-05-07

Diamondbacks-Padres Preview 2009-05-07

Diamondbacks-Padres Preview 2009-05-07
Dan Haren has been magnificent since the start of the season, and now he's finally getting the wins he deserves.

Haren looks to continue his dominance and win his fourth straight start Thursday when the Arizona Diamondbacks conclude their two-game series with the lowly San Diego Padres.

With Arizona (12-16) staff ace Brandon Webb on the disabled list because of a shoulder strain, Haren (3-3, 1.47 ERA) has shown that he's more than capable of carrying the team.

Haren's .167 opponents' batting average is the best in the majors, and he has 47 strikeouts to just seven walks over 43 innings. The right-hander has allowed two runs or less in all six of his starts and could easily be 6-0, but was saddled with a loss in each of his first three starts as he was backed by just one total run of support in those outings.

On Saturday, Haren gave up one run and four hits with a season-high 11 strikeouts in eight innings of a 4-1 win over Milwaukee.

"We've always said we have two aces," Justin Upton said. "With Webbie out, he's really shouldered the load of the ace role. We're confident when he goes out there. When he does go out and throw like he has the last two times, he gives us a great opportunity to win."

Haren will try and win four straight starts for the first time since July 19-Aug. 4 against a Padres team that has lost seven of eight and 13 of 16. He went 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA in five starts against San Diego (12-16) last season and is 1-0 with a 3.15 ERA in three career starts at Petco Park.

Arizona defeated the Padres 3-1 on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak.

Upton hit two home runs for the first multihomer game of his career, and is batting .378 (17 for 44) with six home runs and 14 RBIs during a 13-game hitting streak.

The Diamondbacks have scored only nine runs in their last four games, and the Padres haven't been much better, plating 13 runs in six games this month.

San Diego, which has the majors' third-worst batting average (.236), managed only five hits Wednesday.

"We are not swinging the bats as a group," manager Bud Black told the Padres' official Web site. "We need to get some guys swinging well. We've got to keep pushing through it."

In Thursday's finale, Black gives the ball to Chris Young (2-1, 4.81), who looks to build off a solid outing.

After allowing a season-high eight runs in a season-low three innings of a 12-7 loss at Colorado on April 27, Young gave up one run and six hits in seven innings of a 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

Young hopes returning to San Diego can help him get back in the win column.

The right-hander allowed three runs in 13 innings in winning his first two starts of the season - both at Petco Park - but hasn't pitched in San Diego since April 12.

While Young has enjoyed pitching at the spacious Petco Park this season, he hasn't had much luck against Arizona lately.

He's 0-3 with a 5.28 ERA in six starts against the Diamondbacks since 2007 and hasn't defeated them since Aug. 29, 2006.

Despite his struggles against Arizona, he does own the upper hand in the matchup of Chris Young's.

Arizona center fielder Chris Young, who is just 1-for-23 with 11 strikeouts in his last eight games, is hitless with eight strikeouts in 14 career at-bats against the San Diego pitcher with the same name.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 7, 2009

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