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May 4, 2024 9:44 am

Padres await potential new arrival, take on Diamondbacks

padres shildt

As the Padres took the field Friday night in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the word spread that San Diego was about to consummate a major trade.

Multiple sources said the team was acquiring two-time batting champ Luis Arraez from the Miami Marlins for four minor leaguers, including 19-year-old outfielder Dillon Head, the No. 6 prospect in the San Diego system.

Whether Arraez is on the Padres’ roster or in the lineup for Saturday night’s road game against Arizona remains to be seen. But one thing for certain is that over the past three games, and following a 7-1 win on Friday, the club is trending in the direction that manager Mike Shildt felt it would all along.

After dropping five straight and falling to a season-low four games under .500, San Diego has won three in a row to improve to 17-18. The Padres have 19 runs over that span, and they had seven extra-base hits Friday night, including three homers.

What’s more, the starting pitching staff that was bruised during the losing streak has permitted just three runs in 17 2/3 innings during the reversal of form. That includes Dylan Cease’s eight-strikeout, three-hit, one-run effort in 6 2/3 innings Friday night.

“I don’t know about one-upping each other, but we’re trying to provide quality starts,” Cease said. “We were all disappointed when we had that stretch of giving up five runs (each).”

Michael King (2-3, 5.00 ERA) will try to bounce back from consecutive losses where he’s been rocked by the home-run ball. After yielding a grand slam in the fourth inning of a 7-4 defeat April 23 at Colorado, King allowed three two-run homers Sunday in an 8-6 setback to Philadelphia.

He has lost three straight, including a hard-luck 1-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on April 17 in which he struck out 10 but gave up the game’s only run on two hits in 7 2/3 innings.

The right-hander will make his first appearance against the Diamondbacks.

“It’s a great and balanced lineup,” King said of Arizona. “A lot is minimizing the running game, making sure guys who get to first don’t get to second, and controlling the big innings. I can’t let six and seven guys get to the plate.”

As for the Diamondbacks, they’re hoping right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (1-1, 4.63 ERA) can give them the quality start they need after a series of short outings from the starting staff. Pfaadt is coming off a career-high 11 strikeouts during his team’s 3-2 win Sunday in Seattle, although he wasn’t involved in the decision after going six innings and allowing two runs on five hits.

Pfaadt has pitched well in two previous starts against the Padres, both last year, in which he logged a 2.13 ERA despite not coming away with a decision. He struck out 13 in 12 2/3 innings while giving up 10 hits and three runs.

There appears to be good news on the horizon for the Diamondbacks, even though the defending National League champions are a season-high five games under .500. It appears they could get closer Paul Sewald (oblique) and outfielder Alek Thomas (hamstring) back as soon as Tuesday, when they start a six-game road trip in Cincinnati.

“Targeting early in this Cincinnati series? Yes, I think that’s fairly accurate,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “But both players have to check boxes, and we got to get back information from them that they’re doing well.”

–Field Level Media

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