San Diego's previous visit to Phoenix, from July 2-4, produced the franchise's first three-game sweep at the D-backs' home ballpark. The Padres outscored their hosts, 23-13, and inspired a blunt assessment from D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.
"They just had our number," Gibson said after the Padres finished the sweep with an 8-6 victory. "They outplayed us. It's no discredit to our team, but they just outplayed us."
A new three-game set starts on Friday night, with the D-backs sitting 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Giants. San Diego's Eric Stults takes the ball against Arizona's Patrick Corbin in a battle of left-handers.
The Padres come to town after finishing off a sweep of the Pirates on Wednesday, their fourth straight win. San Diego, which started the day 27th in the Majors in runs scored, has plated 28 in its past five contests.
"They hit a lot of balls in holes, just out of reach of guys -- they're a pesky team," Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett said after San Diego's 7-5 win on Tuesday. "You can't take anything for granted. They came out swinging and placed the ball in good positions."
Now the Padres, who rank a more respectable 17th in road scoring, will head back to the ballpark where they hit .282 and smacked six home runs last month.
San Diego will face Corbin (5-4, 3.60 ERA), who appeared out of the bullpen in the middle game of the last series and gave up two runs, one earned, in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Corbin has posted a 4.05 ERA in his nine starts, but a 2.33 ERA in three outings at Chase Field. He last pitched on Saturday at Houston, giving up four runs in seven innings to earn the win.
Stults (3-2, 3.06 ERA) saw his streak of six straight starts with two or fewer earned runs allowed end that same day. Pitching against the Giants, he surrendered five runs in six frames.
The D-backs faced Stults on June 3 at Petco Park and ripped three of the five home runs Stults has allowed this season. In all, they produced six runs, three earned, in Stults' 6 1/3 innings.
Padres: A good approach for surging Maybin
• Center fielder Cameron Maybin has struggled for much of this season, but has gone 11-for-18 over the past four games. A right-handed batter, Maybin sent six of those hits to either center field or right field.
"I'm just taking what they're giving me," he said. "But the contact [rate] has been better and a lot of my hits have found holes. Sometimes they fall, sometimes they don't. But the biggest thing for me is to keep competing."
• The Padres optioned reliever Brad Boxberger back to Triple-A Tucson on Wednesday to make room for Andrew Werner, who started Wednesday's game against the Pirates.
The move brought an end to Boxberger's second stint this season with the big league club. In eight appearances since his recall, the 24-year-old gave up five runs on 11 hits in nine innings, with six walks and 12 strikeouts.
D-backs: Upton sits out doubleheader
• Left hamstring tightness forced right fielder Justin Upton to leave Tuesday's game in the first inning, and Gibson also held him out of the starting lineup for both parts of Wednesday's doubleheader.
Upton received treatment on the muscle on Tuesday night and said an MRI he had taken on Wednesday morning revealed that "everything was good." There was a possibility he would play the nightcap against the Marlins, but Gerardo Parra drew the start in right field.
"I don't want to be out of this lineup, especially at this time," Upton said.
• The Padres lead the overall season series, 5-4. This will be the first of nine games, including six in Phoenix, that the teams will play over the remainder of the season.
Everth Cabrera's two stolen bases on Wednesday gave him 28 straight without getting caught, going back to last season. That's good for a franchise record.