(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres have a favorable road matchup this weekend against the NL West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks, but the desert hasn't been too kind lately for the current division leaders.
The Padres, who are two games ahead of San Francisco for the NL West lead, will open a three-game series Friday night against the homestanding Diamondbacks at Chase Field. They have won six in a row against Arizona and are 7-2 in the 2010 season series. On the flip side, the Padres have lost in seven of their last nine trips to the Valley of the Sun.
San Diego ended a two-game slide with Thursday's 5-0 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to earn a split of a four-game series. Kevin Correia tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings and scattered four hits to earn the win, while Joe Thatcher, Ernesto Frieri, Luke Gregerson and Heath Bell went the rest of the way to preserve the shutout. Bell struck out two over 1 1/3 innings for his 31st save of the season.
"It was nice to hold their offense down," Correia said. "I was locating well [Thursday] and my fastball command was a lot better. I was able to move the ball around and change speeds enough. It was nice to split the series."
Chris Denorfia hit an inside-the-park home run and Tony Gwynn Jr., Yorvit Torrealba and Chase Headley each had an RBI for the Padres, who have won three of their last five games and improved to 23-18 against division foes. The Padres will also take on lowly Pittsburgh for three games after this set.
Jon Garland gets the nod this evening for Bud Black's Padres and has won four of his last six decisions, including last Sunday's 5-4 victory over Florida in which he held the Marlins to three runs and five hits in six innings. Garland is 10-7 with a 3.60 earned run average in 22 starts and has won at least 10 games for the eighth time in his career.
The right-hander recently beat Arizona at home on July 16, when he tossed six innings of one-run ball in a 12-1 blowout. Garland improved to 3-2 in seven career starts against the D'Backs that day.
Arizona has alternated wins and losses over its last eight games and is coming off Thursday's 8-4 home victory over the Washington Nationals in the finale of a four-game series.
Kelly Johnson and Adam LaRoche both had three hits and Justin Upton drove in a pair of runs for the Diamondbacks, who got six innings of two-run ball from winning starter Barry Enright. He allowed two solo homers, struck out three and issued two walks.
"It was a struggle, my fastball control was a little off tonight," Enright said after he helped his team split the series. "But I just kind of tried to grind it out and give the team a chance to win."
Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds did not play in Thursday's game and is still recovering from a concussion suffered after getting hit in the head with a pitch on August 4. He has 25 home runs and 69 RBI this season.
The D'Backs, who are just 10-29 in division action this season, will send Daniel Hudson to the mound Friday for his second start in an Arizona uniform. Hudson was acquired from the Chicago White Sox at the end of July in a deal that sent starter Edwin Jackson to the Windy City.
The 23-year-old impressed in his Arizona debut in last Sunday's 14-1 pounding of the New York Mets, as he gave up only one run and three hits over eight innings.
Hudson, a right-hander, was 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA in three starts with the Pale Hose before heading to Arizona. He has never faced San Diego.