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Padres-Diamondbacks Preview

Through the first three weeks of the season, very little has slowed down the high-powered Arizona Diamondbacks.

Randy Johnson's first start was one of their few blemishes, but he's confident he'll get things turned around.

Behind the major's top offense and pitching staff, the surging Diamondbacks look to win their fifth in a row as Johnson takes the mound in Sunday's series finale against the San Diego Padres.

After beating the Padres 9-0 in Friday's opener, Arizona won 10-3 on Saturday. The Diamondbacks (13-4) have the best record in baseball, and are off to the best start in their 11-year history.

While Arizona was outscored by 20 runs on its way to going 90-72 and winning the NL West Division last year, the Diamondbacks have been crushing their opponents this season.

They have outscored the opposition 31-6 during their four-game winning streak, and 112-56 overall. Arizona leads the majors in runs scored and fewest runs allowed.

"This year's a new year," Diamondbacks second baseman Orlando Hudson said. "Our young guys are doing a heck of a job. They're swinging the bats well. Pitchers are throwing strikes and we're playing good defense behind the guys and right now things are going our way."

Johnson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) had trouble finding the strike zone in his season debut, but still gave Arizona a chance to win.

The 44-year-old left-hander had back surgery in August, and made his first start since June 28 on Tuesday. He allowed three runs -- all unearned -- three hits, struck out seven and walked four in five innings of a 5-4 loss to San Francisco, but was not a factor in the decision.

"I've got a lot of room for improvement, but considering the situation I know that things will get a lot better," Johnson said.

Johnson was knocked around in his only start against San Diego last season, allowing six runs in five innings of a 10-5 loss on April 24. He is 14-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 23 career outings against the Padres, and 10-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 14 starts against them at Chase Field.

Arizona's Justin Upton went 2-for-4 with a double on Saturday after getting three hits Friday. Upton is batting .517 (15-for-29) with two home runs and nine RBIs in eight games at Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks are a major league-best 7-1 at home.

Eric Byrnes had a two-run double on Saturday to extend his hit streak to 14 games. After opening the season just 1-for-12 in his first three games, Byrnes is batting .362 (21-for-58) with nine doubles, nine RBIs and 14 runs scored during the streak.

The Diamondbacks have not swept a three-game home series from the Padres since April 22-24, 2005.

While Arizona has been red-hot, the Padres have been outscored 31-6 during their four-game skid. They have not lost five in a row since April 24-29, 2006.

"We're not playing our best baseball right now. The Diamondbacks are and we have to play better," San Diego manager Bud Black said.

Randy Wolf (1-0, 1.42) looks to build off a stellar outing and help the Padres avoid the sweep when he takes the ball Sunday.

On Tuesday, Wolf held Colorado hitless for 6 2-3 innings before a Brad Hawpe single. Wolf was lifted after the seventh inning, and allowed just one hit and four walks while striking out nine in San Diego's 6-0 victory.

Wolf, who didn't pitch after July 3 last year due to shoulder soreness, has yielded only three runs while striking out 18 in 19 innings over three starts this season.

While pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, the left-hander went 1-1 with a 6.94 ERA in two starts versus Arizona. Wolf is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts at Chase Field since 2001.