Rockies look for more success against Padres
The Colorado Rockies began escaping their early-season swoon when they went to San Diego for a two-game series in mid-April.
The Rockies were 4-12 and had just ended an eight-game losing streak when they got to Petco Park, but they received two strong pitching performances in taking both games from the Padres.
San Diego has a chance to get even when the teams open a three-game series at Coors Field in Denver on Friday night. The Padres have a better road record (11-6) than home record (10-11), and they are coming off a 3-3 homestand.
The Padres had Thursday off while the Rockies were outlasting the visiting San Francisco Giants 12-11.
San Diego will send left-hander Eric Lauer to the mound Friday in his first game at Coors Field since he made his major league debut on April 24, 2018. It was a memorable and forgettable day for Lauer: He allowed seven runs (six earned) in three-plus innings and took the loss.
He fared much better in his only other start against the Rockies, giving up just one unearned run over five no-hit innings during a no-decision in San Diego's 3-2 win on Aug. 30, 2018.
Lauer (2-3, 4.30 ERA) will try to continue the small momentum the Padres have coming out of their homestand. They beat the New York Mets 3-2 on Wednesday and have one of the more intriguing lineups in the National League.
The free-agent signing of Manny Machado added star power to a young San Diego lineup, and last year's big signee, Eric Hosmer, is heating up. He is hitting .404 (21-for-52) with four homers and 10 RBIs over his past 13 games.
"He's not the one person that he felt like he had to be last year," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He's about winning, and when you're not winning, you press and try to do more and more and more. You try to find something you can do to make the team better. That weighed on him heavily. Now the club's in the mix, in the hunt, fighting hard to be in contention. He's just about winning baseball games."
The Padres will face one of Colorado's toughest pitchers, German Marquez (3-2, 3.46 ERA). The right-hander set the single-season record for strikeouts by a Colorado pitcher last year with 230, and he has pitched at least six innings in six of his eight starts this year.
Marquez is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in eight career games (six starts) against the Padres. He has allowed just three runs in two starts against them at Coors Field.
Colorado's staff as a whole has struggled this season, but manager Bud Black isn't worried about it. There were similar struggles last June before the rotation came together the last three months of the season.
"Long term, these guys have to be consistently solid to keep us in games," Black said. "Are there times when I've seen that? For sure. But when you're not on, there's a skill to not being bad. You sort of hang in there. Last year was worse than this. We weren't good in June on the mound. Then after that, we were really good."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 10, 2019