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Micah Owings has reason to be excited after winning his first four starts. He may be even more thrilled about Saturday's opponent.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Arizona -116 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 81% of bets for this game have been placed on Arizona –116 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Owings (4-0, 2.42 ERA) is already halfway to the win total he reached in 27 starts as a rookie last year, having allowed three or fewer runs in each of his outings and permitting just 17 hits in 26 innings.
The right-hander's last two wins came against San Francisco, which is last in the majors with 74 runs, but it likely won't get much tougher against the Padres (9-15), who have lost five straight and nine of 10 overall.
San Diego, which has one more run than the Giants, has scored just six runs in 62 innings during its five-game home losing streak, failing to plate more than two runs in any of its last five games at Petco Park.
The Padres managed just three hits in a 5-1 loss to the Diamondbacks Friday, losing to Randy Johnson - the only pitcher they had beaten in the last 10 games. They're looking to avoid their first six-game slide since they dropped eight in a row in July 2005.
"I think everyone in the clubhouse has that competitive instinct and no one in here is comfortable with losing," said pitcher Randy Wolf, who took the loss Friday. "It's frustrating. We just have to try and improve tomorrow."
Padres outfielder Brian Giles is 5-for-7 with three home runs in his career against Owings, but the rest of their current roster is a combined 2-for-30 against him. In two visits to San Diego last year, Owings allowed two runs on seven hits in 13 innings, but didn't receive a decision in either outing.
He's been getting more run support this season, as the Diamondbacks (17-6) lead the majors with 139 runs. Already off to their best start in club history, they've won four of five and eight of 10.
On Friday, third baseman Mark Reynolds hit his team-leading seventh home run while first baseman Conor Jackson hit in his eighth straight game. Jackson is hitting .438 over that stretch, while Reynolds ended an 0-for-11 skid with his three-run shot.
The Diamondbacks' potent lineup will hope to have Eric Byrnes - who has missed the last two games with what he called "leg issues" - when they face Justin Germano on Saturday.
Germano (0-2, 5.01) will be trying to rebound from his worst outing of the year. The right-hander had allowed just three runs in 20 innings in his first three starts, but he gave up a career-high 10 earned runs in 3 1-3 innings in his last start,
"He just didn't have his location," Padres manager Bud Black said. "And when he did miss, he missed in the middle. I'd prefer that if he did miss, he miss either inside or outside."
In his last seven starts dating back to last season, Germano is 0-5 with a 5.79 ERA, with the Padres losing every game.
He did go 2-1 against the Diamondbacks last year, however, allowing seven runs in 17 1-3 innings.
Arizona has already taken three of four from the Padres this season, and has won six of eight against them dating back to last year.
San Diego's Jake Peavy and Arizona's Brandon Webb - the last two NL Cy Young award winners - will cap the series on Sunday.