Arizona continues to lead the National League West and will look to add to its lead -- much like the way they've recently added to their team -- against San Diego.John McDonald and Aaron Hill were acquired by the D-backs from the Blue Jays in a trade for Kelly Johnson on Tuesday and both are expected to have an impact down the stretch. The pair went a combined 0-for-8 on Wednesday, but fared better the next day, going 3-for-8 on Thursday. "I'll try to keep them as fresh as I can," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It will be split up; it's not like one guy is going to play out there all the time. But I know that [McDonald's] favorite position is shortstop, and that was within our thought process when we got him." McDonald figures to spell veteran Willie Bloomquist at shortstop. McDonald is hitting .250 on the season and has a .986 fielding percentage at short. "I've never been in a playoff race, and you can't explain that feeling," Hill said. "Just knowing you're coming over here and being a part of what these guys are fighting for and to hope to contribute any way possible, is a blast." Right-handed rookie Josh Collmenter will toe the rubber against Wade LeBlanc in Friday's series opener. Collmenter has been impressive his past three starts, compiling a 2.18 ERA against the Astros, Phillies and Braves. His last time out, the 25-year-old was a hard-luck loser against Atlanta, allowing one run over seven innings in a 1-0 Braves victory. LeBlanc is also pitching well, with victories in each of his last two starts as he auditions for a spot in next year's Padres rotation. Uncharacteristically, LeBlanc walked four in each of those starts. He was 1-1 in three starts against the D-backs last season. Padres: Consistency pays off
During the team's season-high five-game winning streak, which was snapped Wednesday night against the Giants, the Padres used the same lineup for five consecutive days, the longest stretch without changing this season -- until they used the same lineup again in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Giants. Overall, the Padres have utilized 111 lineups. They compiled 135 lineups in 2010, with only one combination used more than five times. With Tuesday night's win over the Giants, the Padres kicked off a stretch of 30 consecutive games against National League West opponents. The Padres are 18-26 against the NL West this season.
D-backs: Parra producing
Left fielder Gerardo Parra went 2-for-5 Thursday and is hitting .289 on the season with seven home runs, 32 RBIs and nine steals. Since May 16, when he was hitting a season-low .250, Parra has increased his production.
Arizona relievers J.J. Putz (11-for-11), David Hernandez (4-for-4) and Zach Duke (1-for-1) have converted all 16 saves opportunities since the All- Star break.
The D-backs are 23-21 against the NL West this season. They are 4-4 against the Padres this year and have outscored them, 35-25.