San Diego Padres (21-25) at Arizona Diamondbacks (26-21)
Friday, May 24 - 9:40 PM EST
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
Brandon McCarthy has performed like an ace for the Arizona Diamondbacks in his last two outings, pitching 17 scoreless innings. McCarthy, signed as a free agent in December, looks to produce another strong start when the Diamondbacks host the San Diego Padres on Friday in the opener of a three-game set. Arizona, tied for first place in the National League West with Colorado and San Francisco, has lost three of four and recorded only 12 runs in the last five games.
San Diego, which lost its last two to St. Louis, took two of three from Arizona earlier this month at home. Rookie Jedd Gyorko has led the way for the Padres in May. The infielder was 6-for-12 against Arizona and is 23-for-69 with five homers and 15 runs scored in 19 games this month. San Diego is building a strong middle of the order with Gyorko, Yonder Alonso and Chase Headley.
TV: 9:40 p.m. ET, FSN (San Diego, Arizona)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres LH Eric Stults (4-3, 4.05 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Brandon McCarthy (1-3, 4.74)
Stults has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last four starts, winning two of three decisions. The left-hander yielded one run and four hits over eight innings to beat Washington 2-1 on Saturday in his longest outing of the season. Stults is 3-2 in seven career appearances (five starts) against Arizona with a 4.36 ERA. Martin Prado is 5-for-11 lifetime against Stults.
McCarthy allowed 10 hits in his last two turns with 10 strikeouts and two walks against Philadelphia and Miami after a slow start to the season. The 6-7 right-hander was 0-3 over his first six starts, giving up three or fewer runs once. McCarthy has walked only eight in 57 innings but has surrendered 71 hits and a .305 average. McCarthy never has faced the Padres.
1. Padres OF Chris Denorfia is 9-for-21 with two stolen bases in his last five games, raising his average to .305.
2. Arizona closer Heath Bell, who recorded 132 saves with the Padres between 2009-11, has allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings against his former team since.
3. San Diego LF Carlos Quentin missed the last two games with a left knee injury but could return Friday after getting an injection for the pain.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 4, Padres 3