If the Padres don't play well over the next 10 games, it could be their last important homestand of the season
The Padres return home from a 1-4 trip to Seattle and Arizona that concluded with two straight losses to a Diamondbacks team that had lost nine straight
"This was as tough a loss as we've had this season," Padres manager Bob Melvin said Sunday after his club fell 5-4 after leading 3-0 in the top of the first inning. "And we've had some really tough losses. It's not one or two guys -- it's the entire 26-man roster.
The Padres are six games below .500 and 5 1/2 games out of the last wild-card spot in the National League with 44 games to go. They almost need a series sweep of the Orioles to climb back into playoff contention -- and the Orioles haven't been swept in 77 straight series
"There are numbers you can point to that are meaningful to a team's success; that is one," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said of the team's ability to avoid being swept. "You do that over a season and you're going to have success.
Which the Orioles have. They have the second-best record in the major leagues and own a three-game lead over the second-place Tampa Bay Rays in the extremely competitive American League East. The Orioles flew to San Diego from Seattle on Sunday afternoon after defeating the Mariners 5-3 in 10 innings on Cedric Mullins' two-run home run
Which brings us to two other stats to compare the Orioles' and Padres' seasons. The Orioles are 22-11 in one-run games and improved to 8-5 in extra-inning games with Sunday's success in Seattle. The Padres fell to 6-19 in one-run games with Sunday's loss in Arizona and are 0-10 in extra-inning contests
The San Diego-Baltimore series will start Monday night with Padres right-handed veteran Yu Darvish (8-7, 4.19 ERA) going against 23-year-old right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (2-3, 5.84)
Darvish has allowed three runs (two earned) on 14 hits and four walks with 17 strikeouts over 19 innings in his last three starts for a 0.95 ERA. He is 1-0 in those starts
Darvish will make his 22nd start of the season. He has 125 strikeouts in 120 1/3 innings
Darvish has made only one start against the Orioles in his career, and that was in 2016 when he gave up three runs on six hits and a walk with nine strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. But three of the hits were home runs
--Field Level Medi