Padres-Rockies preview

DENVER — The San Diego Padres will be trying to win a season-high fourth straight contest and left-hander Christian Friedrich will be seeking another win against the Colorado Rockies on Friday when the clubs begin a three-game series.

The Padres have won four of their past five contests after a three-game sweep at San Francisco. It was San Diego's second series sweep of the season; the other was July 15-17 against the Giants. That was also the last time the Padres won three straight.

Colorado will be trying to regroup after a dismal series at Arizona.

The Diamondbacks swept three games from the Rockies and outscored them 34-19. During the sweep, which was Arizona's first at Chase Field this year, Rockies pitchers yielded four or more runs in an inning five times and a total of 50 hits, including 10 home runs. The Colorado starters allowed 25 hits and had a 10.22 ERA while working just 12 1/3 innings. The relievers also allowed 25 hits and had an 11.57 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.

Those three ugly losses left the Rockies 2-5 on a trip that began in San Diego when the Rockies and Padres split a four-game series.

“It's important to get to the finish line the right way,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Charlie Blackmon hit four homers on the seven-game trip and went 7-for-13 in the series at Arizona with blasts in the final two games. Blackmon is hitting .319 with career-highs in homers (27), RBIs (73) and runs scored (101).

It's not as though Coors Field has propped up Blackmon's production. Indeed, he is hitting .318 with 10 homers, 41 RBIs and an .889 OPS in 239 at-bats at home and .320 with 17 homers, 32 RBIs and a .967 OPS in 272 at-bats on the road.

“He's done a lot of damage on the road,” Weiss said. “It's good to see, because I think it gives him even more credibility on a national level. He's turned into a big-time player.”

Friedrich, who was Colorado's first-round draft pick in 2008, will make his second consecutive start against his former team. The Rockies moved him to the bullpen in 2014 and released him after last season when he pitched entirely in relief.

In two starts against the Rockies this season, Friedrich is 1-0 and has allowed one unearned run and four hits in 13 innings with four walks and 19 strikeouts.

At Coors Field on June 12, Friedrich gave up two hits and one unearned run in six innings. He left trailing 1-0, but the Padres tied the game in the seventh before dropping a 2-1 decision.

In the Padres' 6-3 victory Saturday at San Diego, Freidrich, who is 5-10 with a 4.67 ERA, gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings with one walk and a career-high tying 10 strikeouts to win for the first time in 12 starts since June 23.

Shortstop Luis Sardinas, 23, has seized the opportunity to play every day since the Padres acquired him from Seattle for cash considerations on Aug. 15.

In 32 games and 77 plate appearances with the Mariners, Sardinas hit .181/.203/.264. In the three-game sweep of the Giants, Sardinas went 7-for-14 with one triple, two RBIs and four runs scored and extended his hitting streak to six games. In 21 games and 76 plate appearances with the Padres, he is hitting .328/.400/.463

“You want to be a shortstop in the major leagues for a long period of time, there's more work out in front of him,” San Diego manager Andy Green said. “But he's embracing that. He's playing hard, aggressive, every day. He's doing things on the bases, swinging the bat well. There's definitely still more work out for him.”

The Padres lead the season series 9-7, and the teams have split six games at Coors Field.

Tyler Chatwood, who is 11-9 with a 3.82 ERA in 24 starts and 4-8 with a 5.67 ERA in 13 starts at Coors Field this season, will start for the Rockies. He will face the Padres for the second consecutive start.

In his second start since returning from the disabled list with a mid-back strain, Chatwood broke a three-game losing streak, limiting the Padres to one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-1 win on Friday.

Chatwood is 4-0 lifetime time with a 3.18 ERA in eight games, six starts, against San Diego. This season, Chatwood is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts against the Padres.

In his lone start against them this season at Coors Field on June 11, Chatwood gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings and won 5-3.