The San Diego Padres desperately need a break … the All-Star break.

“We’re not playing good baseball,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said as his team was losing three straight games to the Colorado Rockies in Denver before heading home to face the Arizona Diamondbacks for the final three games leading to the All-Star break.

The Padres’ tailspin is turning more into a dive. The three straight road losses to the Rockies to end a four-game series means the second-place team in the National League West has lost 13 of its last 18 games. The Padres’ last series win was when they swept the visiting Diamondbacks in a three-game set from June 20-22.

The team that was tied for first place and was 17 games above .500 on June 22 has slipped to nine games above .500 and is now 9 1/2 games off the pace in the division.

Enter the Diamondbacks, who are last in the West. They also are 2-7 against the Padres, although they split a two-game set against them on June 28-29 in Arizona.

This three-game series opens Friday night with a matchup of veterans. Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner (5-8, 3.65 ERA) will start against San Diego right-hander Yu Darvish (7-4, 3.38).

Bumgarner has an interesting history against the Padres. At times, he has dominated them. But he enters his 45th career appearance (44th start) against the Padres with a 13-15 career record and a 3.77 ERA, a 1.110 WHIP and a .226 opponents’ batting average with 70 walks and 265 strikeouts in 267 2/3 innings.

But he has yet to beat the Padres during his three seasons in Arizona.

He is 0-2 against them in three starts this season, with a 4.50 ERA and 1.750 WHIP. He was 0-1 in 2021 with a 5.09 ERA in three starts. And he was 0-2 against the Padres in two 2020 starts with a 10.57 ERA.

That’s 0-5 against them with a 6.03 ERA in eight starts as a Diamondback.

However, he held the Padres to one run on four hits over five innings in a losing effort on June 29 in Arizona.

In his most recent outing, Bumgarner matched his season high of seven innings while holding the Rockies to two runs.

Bumgarner emerged happy.

“I’m not getting paid to go five innings every time,” Bumgarner said after the win over the Rockies. “I’m trying to fix that. I earned my paycheck a little more today.”

Darvish is 1-0 in two starts against the Diamondbacks this season, allowing one run on four hits over 13 innings.

On Opening Day, he no-hit the Diamondbacks with four walks and three strikeouts over six innings. Over his career, Darvish has a 4-3 record and a 3.78 ERA, a 1.185 WHIP and a .237 opponents’ batting average in 12 starts against Arizona, with 93 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.

But the Padres have come out on the losing side in each of Darvish’s last three starts despite the pitcher’s 2.84 ERA because they’ve scored only eight runs in the three games.

“We need to improve in all facets,” Melvin said of the Padres’ slump. “Offensively, we haven’t been good situationally as we’d been over the better part of the season. Our defense and base running haven’t been as sharp.”

–Field Level Media