Charlie Blackmon has certainly looked like an All-Star at Coors Field, particularly against the San Diego Padres.
Blackmon looks to build on another strong display at home against the Padres as the Colorado Rockies seek back-to-back wins for the first time in nearly a month Wednesday.
Blackmon is headed to his first All-Star game Tuesday in Minneapolis, and his production at home has surely played a part.
The outfielder is hitting .331 with 10 homers, 33 RBIs and 34 runs in Denver compared to a .248 average with three homers, 16 RBIs and 15 runs scored on the road.
That trend has also been evident against the Padres (40-50). He owns a .364 average in 13 home meetings and a .200 mark over 15 games in San Diego.
Blackmon again pounded the NL West rival in the high altitude of Coors on Tuesday, connecting for a two-run homer and a double to power a 2-1 win. He was 6 for 36 over the previous 11 games, including an 0-for-3 effort in a 6-1 loss in the opener of this three-game set Monday.
"I just kind of felt like I got into maybe some bad habits," Blackmon said. "That kept me from being simple and direct to the ball. I’ve simplified things a little bit lately."
The Rockies (38-53) haven’t won two straight since a season-high five-game winning streak from June 11-15. They’ve dropped 18 of the subsequent 22 games.
Colorado will now turn to Jair Jurrjens, who struggled with the thin air and the Los Angeles Dodgers in his season debut Friday. The right-hander surrendered eight runs and 12 hits, including two homers, before being lifted with two outs in the fifth inning of a 9-0 defeat. He was then transported to a local hospital due to breathing issues.
"Super scary," said Jurrjens, who hadn’t appeared in the majors since June 29, 2013, with Baltimore. "Every time I wanted to take a deep breath, I wasn’t able to. Just got tighter and tighter.
"I was having problems after my warm-up pitches. I took my time, too. That’s why I was standing behind the mound, just trying to get my breath."
Jurrjens has a 1.64 ERA while winning three straight starts against the Padres, but the most recent came with Atlanta on June 25, 2011.
The Padres have lost three of four following a season-high five-game winning streak.
Eric Stults (3-11, 4.96 ERA) may already be two losses shy of his career high set last year, but he’s trying to win back-to-back starts for the first time since winning three straight to conclude 2013.
The left-hander was superb Friday, yielding four hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win over San Francisco. That was a tremendous improvement after his status as a starter was questioned due to an 0-8 record and 5.63 ERA over his nine previous games.
"I have been in the game long enough to understand that as a pitcher, or even as a position player, you have times where you are going to hit streaks where you are not throwing good or are not getting the breaks," Stults said.
Stults is 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA in six starts at Coors Field, but he was impressive in his most recent May 16. He allowed two runs – one earned – in 6 2-3 innings, but didn’t get any run support or a decision in a 3-1 loss.