(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres will try to pad their lead atop the National League West standings when they open a three-game series versus the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks tonight from Petco Park.
San Diego is 5 1/2 games in front of San Francisco for the top spot in the division and has won eight of 12 meetings with Arizona this season.
The Padres were able to salvage the finale of a three-game set at Milwaukee with Sunday's 7-3 victory. Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley both homered while Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick both finished with two RBI for San Diego, which has won six of its last eight games.
Jon Garland picked up his 13th win of the season (13-8) by holding the Brewers to two runs on eight hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings.
"It was nice to come through for Jon [Sunday]," Ludwick said after the Padres went 7-3 on a 10-game trek. "Any time you break it open a little bit and get a lead like that for this staff, it's pretty much over. This was a great road trip and it's been tremendous for me to come over here."
The Padres, who will also host Philadelphia for three games on this current homestand, are scheduled to send Clayton Richard to the hill Tuesday. Richard, who has won two straight starts and four consecutive decisions, previously pitched at Chicago's Wrigley Field last Wednesday and allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings of a 5-1 victory.
Richard pushed his record to 11-5 in 25 starts this season to go along with a 3.69 earned run average. The lefty is 1-0 in two career starts against Arizona.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks will kick off a six-game road trip against the Padres and Giants and have lost five of the past seven games.
Arizona was aiming for a three-game home sweep of Colorado on Sunday, but suffered a 1-0 loss in the series finale. Dexter Fowler's RBI single in the top of eighth was all the scoring the Rockies would need, while Diamondbacks reliever Aaron Heilman was saddled with the loss.
Dan Hudson started for Arizona and pitched seven shutout innings.
"[Hudson] went out and did what he was supposed to and what he thought he could do," Arizona skipper Kirk Gibson said on the team's site. "He ran out of pitches."
Kelly Johnson, Adam LaRoche and Ryan Church provided the hits for the D'Backs.
Taking the ball for Gibson's club tonight will be Rodrigo Lopez, who is just 5-11 with a 4.94 ERA in 25 starts this season. Lopez has lost his last four decisions and did not figure into the outcome of last Wednesday's 11-7 loss versus Cincinnati. Lopez, a right-hander, allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings.
He has lasted just five innings in three straight starts and is 2-5 in 11 road outings this season. He is 0-2 with a 4.95 ERA in three career starts against the Padres.