The Colorado Rockies have put up some impressive offensive numbers recently, but their bats have been unable to keep with a struggling rotation.
However, the Rockies starters could be in line to begin turning things around beginning Monday night when they open a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.
Colorado fell 7-2 to Atlanta on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep by the Braves. The Rockies (12-15), who scored 17 runs in the previous two games, were limited to four singles in the finale.
Carlos Gonzalez went 0 for 3 Sunday but is still hitting .429 (15 for 35) with five homers in his last nine games. Despite the hot hitting from Gonzalez and the rest of the Colorado lineup, which averaged 8.1 runs in the eight games prior to Sunday, the team's pitching struggles have created early deficits.
Juan Nicasio gave up six runs in five innings Sunday - the third straight Rockies starter to fail to reach the sixth while giving up at least five earned runs. Over the last 11 games, Colorado's rotation has a 6.91 ERA.
Following a 3-6 homestand, the Rockies are on the road for eight consecutive games against division opponents.
"It's really important for us to go out and get our situation straightened out from a starting pitching standpoint and play well on the road in three cities within our own division,'' manager Jim Tracy said.
While the Rockies have had little trouble at the plate, they may not find it as easy to score against Edinson Volquez (0-2, 2.92 ERA).
Volquez has pitched well, but isn't receiving much support. He gave up three hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday, but the Padres didn't score until the eighth inning.
San Diego has scored seven runs in his six starts and provided him nothing to work with in his last two.
"They're going to get me a win," Volquez told the Padres' official website, referring to his teammates. "I'm not worried."
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA against the Rockies.
The lack of offense for the Padres continued over the weekend. They were swept by Miami, scoring four runs and recording 12 hits in the final two games.
San Diego (9-20) lost 6-3 on Sunday. The Marlins scored four times in the eighth off reliever Andrew Cashner to break open a 2-all game. Cashner gave up a bases-loaded walk to force in the tiebreaking run.
"I was one pitch away from getting out of it and couldn't make the pitch," Cashner said.
The Padres have lost six of eight, scoring three or fewer runs six times while hitting .188 with runners in scoring position in that span.
The Padres will try to bounce back against Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 4.05), who went a season-high 6 2-3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
The left-hander, who combined for 13 1-3 innings his previous three starts, allowed one run and four hits in an 8-5 victory.
"Honestly, I didn't think I had my best stuff, but that's pitching," said Pomeranz, who will be making his first appearance against the Padres. "I had a lot of movement on my fastball and was jamming a lot of guys."
Colorado won two of three against the Padres at home April 16-18.