The last time the Diamondbacks saw the San Diego Padres they held them to three runs during a threegame sweep April 24-26 at Petco Park.
What a difference a month makes.
San Diego had scored 92 runs in the 16 games since that series heading into Monday night’s series opener against the Diamondbacks. In the 14 games since they dropped the first two of a three-game series against the Dodgers, the Padres had won 13.
“They weren’t swinging the bats at all and not playing very well and it’s been completely opposite since we left,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said before Monday’s game. “Some of their guys have got hot. They’re swinging the bat across the board and they’re playing with a lot of enthusiasm.”
The Padres went through a similar hot stretch last year when they won 22 of 28 games in the month of May. They lost 12 more games than they won the rest of the way, but it didn’t matter in the poor National League West.
“You go through that during different stretches of the year and, boy, you feel invincible when you’re playing like they are right now,” Melvin said. “It’s our job to go out there and try to put a stop to this streak of theirs.”
Former starter Russ Ortiz is scheduled to throw between 50 and 60 pitches in a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Tucson today. He was removed from the starting rotation after an April 23 loss to the Dodgers and was later placed on the disabled list with a right calf strain.
Melvin said Ortiz will make “several starts” for Tucson on normal rest. That could mean a trip to Round Rock, Texas, on Sunday.
“There are some mechanical changes that we’re looking at, and obviously results,” Melvin said. “Now that he’s healthy (we want him) to take some of these things that we think are going to help him take it to a level to where he’s back to the Russ Ortiz that we signed.”
Meanwhile, injured reliever Terry Mulholland threw a light bullpen session Monday and is scheduled to throw a simulated game Wednesday. If all goes well, he could be headed for a rehab assignment soon.
Conor Jackson had his 13-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 day in St. Louis Sunday. He hit .345 (19-for-55) and drove in 11 runs during the stretch.
The streak was the longest of his career and second longest in the National League this season.
“He’s always going to give you a tough, consistent atbat,” Melvin said. “With his stroke he’s going to have plenty of those streaks over the coming years and probably this year as well.”
Outfielder Jeff DaVanon said he experienced no aftereffects of starting Sunday after taking some time off with a stiff back. Melvin said DaVanon may start today. . . .
Alan Nero, the agent representing both third baseman Chad Tracy and Melvin, said there have been no discussions concerning an extension for Melvin, who is signed only through the end of this season.