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SD@LAD: Richard snares liner right back to mound

The Padres ended one drought Saturday, and they will try to rid themselves of another Sunday when the club goes for a sweep of the first-place D-backs at Petco Park.

By winning its fifth straight game Saturday, San Diego evened up its record at 34-34. The last time the club was .500 with at least two games played in a season was April 10, 2011.

Not satisfied yet, the Padres aim to go above .500 on Sunday for the first time since they finished the 2010 season with a 90-72 record. Moreover, a victory would move San Diego to within two games of first place in the suddenly log-jammed National League West.

Hoping to lead the club to a sixth straight win will be Clayton Richard, who was originally scheduled to start Saturday but was pushed back to get more rest. Richard has struggled this season before and after a stint on the 15-day disabled list to settle a gastrointestinal issue.

The southpaw has allowed five runs or more in six of nine starts, and his only win this year came in a relief outing May 31 against Toronto.

In his last two starts, Richard surrendered a combined 10 earned runs on 13 hits in 10 1/3 innings. Richard's most recent performance, however, encouraged Padres manager Bud Black by how well he limited damage. The 29-year-old gave up four runs to the Rockies at Coors Field in six frames of work.

"Clayton did a nice job," Black said after the game. "You ask anyone, four runs over six innings in this park is not a bad effort. There's some pitches he'd like to have back, but I think it was a step in the right direction."

As for the D-backs, they have been on a bit of a slide of late, losing five of their last eight games. Taking the mound for Arizona on Sunday will be Ian Kennedy, who is in the process of appealing a 10-game suspension given to him for his role in Tuesday's melee with the Dodgers, his most recent start. Until his case is heard and ruled on, he is eligible to play.

In that game, Kennedy gave up two runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings, but his night came to an abrupt end when he hit Zack Greinke with a pitch and was immediately ejected.

Kennedy was punished for "intentionally throwing a pitch in the head area of Zack Greinke," but the right-hander has denied any intent at injury in the incident.

"I feel there's a lot of things being attacked at my character and saying I'm a headhunter," Kennedy said. "I really don't appreciate that, but that's still people's opinions."

Padres: Quentin scratched
Carlos Quentin was scratched from the starting lineup before Saturday's game against the D-backs.

Quentin was removed with what manager Bud Black called left shoulder discomfort.

"We don't want to press this right now; he thought he did it on a swing last night," Black said.

Quentin is batting .261 with seven homers and 22 RBI this season.

D-backs: Eaton taking cuts again
D-backs outfielder Adam Eaton hit in extended spring training Saturday for the first time since being shut down in a Minor League rehab stint last month.

He is expected to begin throwing Sunday after serving only as designated hitter in his first appearance.

"He's going to probably do it again Monday or Tuesday against [injured closer closer] J.J. [Putz]," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

Eaton has been on the disabled list since June 1 with a strained left elbow. He initially felt some discomfort in March and was shut down before being activated and began feeling more pain.

Worth noting
• The D-backs are 3-5 in their nine-game stretch against National League West opponents.

• The Padres are 20-7 over their last 27 games at Petco Park after starting the season 1-7. Comments