"We know that this isn't exactly who we are yet. We've just got to get consistent. These next five, six games are going to be big for us," said D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill, who is a Final Vote nominee for the All-Star Game and is hitting .363 with six home runs and 20 RBIs since June 1.
On Wednesday, the desired reversal of fortune turns to Ian Kennedy. The right-hander, who has yet to find the form that led him to 21 wins a season ago, is coming off one of his stronger starts of the past two months. Kennedy (6-7, 4.20 ERA) allowed three runs (one earned) over seven innings against the Brewers on June 29, with seven strikeouts and one walk.
"I was getting ahead of guys and I was keeping the ball down," Kennedy said after his last outing. "Even on a couple of the hits the ball was down. As long as I feel like my command is there, it could be at least a solid night and I can give our team a chance."
Kennedy held the Padres to one earned run over six innings with nine strikeouts in a win on April 12, his only outing against San Diego this season.
Jason Marquis will be tasked with pitching the Padres to the sweep. The right-hander was roughed up by the Rockies in his last outing on June 29, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits over six innings. Wednesday marks Marquis' sixth start with the Padres since joining the rotation on June 7, and he has gone 1-4 with a 3.06 ERA.
"My job is to get guys out, try to execute as many pitches as possible and give my team the win," Marquis said after his last start. "I don't tend to worry about it as much. When you're younger, it tends to bother you more, but as you get older you learn that it is what it is. You can only control your job."
Marquis is 0-4 with a 4.45 ERA in 11 career appearances (10 starts) at Chase Field.
Padres: Grandal making an early impression
Yasmani Grandal has made his presence known in his small sampling of big league play. The Padres No. 3 prospect has appeared in just five games since June 1 but has made an impact nevertheless. The catcher has recorded five hits in 19 at-bats with three home runs, four RBIs and four runs scored. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Grandal is the seventh player since 1900 whose first three hits all went for home runs.
D-backs: Goldschmidt looks to keep momentum
Paul Goldschmidt's production continues to increase as the 2012 season goes on, and now the first baseman hopes to continue that momentum into July. Goldschmidt comes off a month of June in which he hit .341 (28-for-82) with seven home runs, 16 RBIs and 16 runs scored. In his last 11 games, Goldschmidt is hitting .435 (17-for-39) with two home runs, seven RBIs, eight runs and five doubles.
The D-backs boast a .328 batting average with 31 home runs and 126 runs in their past 19 home games. Arizona hit .239 with 19 home runs and 74 runs in their first 20 games at Chase Field.
The Padres are 22-5 when leading after six innings and 2-39 when trailing after six frames.