After a dreadful 10-game road trip, during which they went 1-9, the Padres return to Petco Park on Friday night for the first of three games against the D-backs.
In a battle of southpaws, San Diego sends Clayton Richard to the mound, where he'll be opposed by one of the season's biggest surprises, Arizona's Wade Miley.
The carefree Miley is 6-1 this season with a 2.41 ERA and has won each of his last three starts. He did not have his best stuff against the Brewers his last time out, but he kept his team in the game.
"Offense battled and picked me up when I was struggling," Miley said after the start. "I wanted to go deep to help out the team. It was a confidence thing. I knew my job went to trying to lock it down."
Petco Park is almost always friendly to pitchers, but perhaps none more so than Richard. He is 2-2 with a 2.30 ERA in four starts at home and 0-4 with a 6.57 ERA away from San Diego.
He has also fared well against the D-backs, winning all three of his decisions -- though he has allowed 13 earned runs in 21 2/3 innings against Arizona.
Richard surrendered a pair of homers to the Mets in the first inning of his last start. He settled down to allow two hits over the next five innings without allowing a run.
Helping Richard's cause, the Padres will likely get back outfielder Cameron Maybin on Friday, who has missed four consecutive games with a sprained right wrist.
"It's been three days," Maybin said before Wednesday's game. "But it feels like two weeks."
D-backs: Kubel out for birth of child
The D-backs placed outfielder Jason Kubel on the paternity list and recalled outfielder A.J. Pollock to take his spot on the roster Wednesday.
Kubel flew home to Phoenix early Wednesday and arrived at the hospital 10 minutes before daughter Heidi Evelyn was born at 11:56 a.m. MST.
Manager Kirk Gibson said that Kubel might rejoin the club as soon as Friday in San Diego, but that by league rules he must be back Saturday.
Kubel is batting.297 this season with four homers and 23 RBIs.
Padres: Street eyes rehab
Closer Huston Street threw a bullpen session at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, a significant step in his return from a strained right lat muscle.
The Padres expect him to feel fine Thursday, and if so, he will begin a rehab stint with Class A Lake Elsinore on Friday.
"He'll throw all his pitches at a high intensity to prepare for a game," manager Bud Black said before Street's session.
Street has a 0.93 ERA with four saves in four opportunities.
Thursday is the Padres' first off-day after playing games on 20 consecutive days. During that stretch, they went 6-14.
In his last 21 games, outfielder Will Venable is hitting .314 with three home runs, 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored.
Arizona outfielders Chris Young and Justin Upton have combined for a .471 average against Richard with a .609 on-base percentage. Young has homered twice against the Padres left-hander.
This series marks the second meeting of the year between the Padres and D-backs and the first in San Diego. Arizona took two of three in Phoenix from April 10-12.