(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres are mired in a season-high losing streak and look to get back on track tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game series between division foes at Chase Field.
The National League West-leading Padres have lost four in a row and were swept in three games by Philadelphia over the weekend. The losing streak continued with Sunday's error-plagued 5-0 loss in which starter Clayton Richard was dealt the loss for allowing four runs -- two earned -- over 7 2/3 innings.
Richard was outdueled by Cole Hamels, who scattered four hits and struck out six over eight shutout innings.
"We're going to learn from the mistakes we made. We're more than excited to start our next series," Richard said.
Adrian Gonzalez ended with a game-high three hits, as San Diego's lead atop the division fell to five games ahead of San Francisco. The Giants beat Arizona yesterday afternoon.
Wade LeBlanc will try to pitch the Friars out of their funk when he takes the desert mound Monday night. LeBlanc has won three of his last four starts and beat Arizona the previous time out on Wednesday. He was reached for three runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 9-3 victory, improving to 1-0 in four career starts against the D'Backs and 8-11 overall in 24 outings this season.
LeBlanc, a lefty, owns a 4-6 mark in 11 road starts.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks had won three in a row and were aiming for a three-game sweep of San Francisco until losing a 9-7 decision on Sunday.
Stephen Drew had four hits, including a home run, three RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Justin Upton went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in for Arizona, which got a pair of RBI from Adam LaRoche. Drew has four homers and nine RBI over his last five games.
"I told these guys that they shouldn't hang their heads about this one," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. "They played hard and we had a good series. I'm very happy with the way they played."
Rodrigo Lopez started for the D'Backs and did not record a decision, yielding five runs and eight hits in four innings. Esmerling Vasquez suffered the loss and was reached for three runs -- two earned -- in the seventh inning.
Joe Saunders will handle pitching duties for the D'Backs tonight, but has lost four straight trips to the hill. His misery continued in last Wednesday's 9-3 loss at San Diego, as Saunders permitted nine runs, six of which were earned, and eight hits over four innings. He is 1-4 with a 5.21 ERA in six starts with Arizona since coming over via a trade with the Angels.
Saunders, a left-hander, is 1-2 in three career starts against the Padres.
San Diego has owned Arizona this season to the tune of a 10-5 record, but has lost four of the six matchups at Chase Field.