Now in his sixth season, Dexter Fowler is finally putting it all together.
Unfortunately for the San Diego Padres, he's doing most of his damage against them.
Fowler looks to stay hot as the Colorado Rockies go for a fifth consecutive win over the Padres in the second of three Saturday night at Petco Park.
A former big-time prospect, Fowler never really made much noise before hitting .300 with 13 homers in 143 games last season. The 27-year-old center fielder, though, appears ready to take a much bigger step in 2013.
Fowler hit a pair of homers in Friday's 7-5 series-opening victory, including a tie-breaking shot in the ninth inning. Of his team-leading six home runs, four have come against the Padres (2-8).
"Dexter Fowler is on fire right now," Padres catcher Nick Hundley told the Rockies' official website. "That's perfectly clear. There are times when you help him out by leaving a pitch up in the zone, but you just have to tip your cap in the ninth. I mean, he takes a changeup down to deep right-center? That's just talent and good hitting."
Colorado (6-4), which swept a three-game set versus San Diego last weekend, has gone 14 for 41 (.341) with runners in scoring position and outscored the Padres 27-11 during their four-game winning streak. The Rockies haven't taken five straight from San Diego since Sept. 9-Oct. 1, 2007 - their longest run in the 21-year history of this series.
While San Diego's Carlos Quentin received an eight-game suspension for his role in Thursday's brawl with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he will continue to play pending an appeal by the players' association. After getting hit on the arm by a pitch, Quentin charged the mound and crashed into Zack Greinke, breaking his collarbone.
"We expected the worst and hoped for the best," said manager Bud Black, whose team has dropped three straight and six of seven. "We know it varies from case to case. I think eight was on the high side."
Mired in an 0-for-11 slump, Quentin will try to break out against Jhoulys Chacin (1-0, 1.35 ERA), who allowed six hits over 6 2-3 innings of one-run ball in Sunday's 9-1 win over San Diego.
"I was throwing sinkers. That was the plan today, especially with those guys," he told MLB's official website. "They swing early in the count, they're aggressive, so (catcher) Wilin (Rosario) and I tried to get the sinker down and let them hit it on the ground."
Chacin recorded 14 groundball outs in improving to 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA over his last four starts in the series.
The Padres counter with Edinson Volquez (0-2, 10.00), who surrendered three runs in the first inning opposite Chacin on Sunday before settling down. The right-hander went on to allow one run over the next five frames.
"It was a little tough for me to get loose in the first inning. But you've got to battle. You've got to keep pitching, try to keep the game alive," he said. "I think I'm pretty close. The way I pitched today, I feel pretty good about myself.
Volquez is 3-4 with a 4.81 ERA in eight career starts against the Rockies. While Carlos Gonzalez has gone 7 for 15 in their matchups, Fowler is just 3 for 15. One of those hits, though, was a home run.