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STL@SD: Richard stymies Cards to collect win No. 13

As the season continues to wind down, the chances of the D-backs earning the second Wild Card in the National League continues to decrease. They remain 4 1/2 back of the Cardinals, who are fortunate to be playing the Astros and Cubs this week.

But that doesn't mean Arizona has given up. Against the Padres, who entered the series on a 9-2 tear, the D-backs have risen to the occasion by winning the first two games to keep their slim postseason hopes alive.

They will send young Tyler Skaggs to the mound with a chance of completing the sweep and earning their fourth-straight win.

After giving up just five earned runs in his first three starts, Skaggs has run into some trouble in his last two. He has surrendered 10 runs in those outings, including five runs in three innings to the Padres on Sept. 7.

"It's just one of those days," Skaggs said after that loss. "It seems like every time we play them, it's kind of the same thing."

For the Padres, they are hoping to turn things back around and continue playing spoiler.

San Diego entered the series 27-15 since Aug. 1 and 5-1 against the D-backs since the All-Star Break.

"They were playing pretty good, they've beaten a lot of people," Arizona starter Ian Kennedy said after the first game of the series. "They've taken care of us the last six times here. They are a good team. Their record of late shows that."

D-backs: MRI on Chris Young show no additional damage
Outfielder Chris Young re-aggravated his right quadriceps in the first inning of Tuesday's game and didn't play Wednesday, although he was available to pinch-hit.

He underwent an MRI on Wednesday, which did not show any additional damage. Young was in the lineup on Tuesday for the first time since Sept. 3.

"It's pretty much the same, it's the same area," Young said. "It doesn't seem like I've done more damage, just aggravated what I already had."

Padres: Richard yet to miss a start
Clayton Richard has been a model of consistency this season for the Padres, as he makes his 31st start of the season on Thursday.

The 29-year-old hasn't missed a start all season, which is a good thing for the Padres, since they have won his last five.

Richard has won six of his last eight starts, seven of his last 11 and 11 of his last 18. He looks to improve on that against the D-backs, whom he has had great success against in the past.

In seven career starts against Arizona, Richard is 5-0, with the Padres going 6-1 overall.

He threw seven innings of two-run ball in his last start and he allowed just three hits against the Cardinals.

"It's exciting when you're winning and playing good baseball," said Richard, who celebrated his 29th birthday in style, winning for the 13th time this season.

Worth noting
• General manager Kevin Towers said he thinks Adam Eaton, who had a key triple and run scored in Wednesday's 6-2 victory, could be a "legitimate table setter" at the top of the order.

"When he comes to the plate, you see the corners are drawn in," Towers said. "He makes things happen. He gets on the basepaths, he's a good baserunner, he can steal bases, he puts pressure on the defense."

• Richard's 202 innings are the most by a Padre since Jake Peavy worked 223 1/3 innings in 2007 and most by a Padres left-hander since Sterling Hitchcock worked 205 2/3 innings in 1999.

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