Padres-Rockies Preview

With all the relief pitchers used in Saturday night’s marathon

game between Colorado and San Diego, both teams would love to get

long outings from their starters in the series finale.

Neither the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez nor the Padres’ Jon Garland

were able to do that on opening day, however.

Jimenez and Garland look to bounce back and give their

respective bullpens a break when they square off Sunday at Coors

Field.

After Colorado’s easy 7-0 win in Friday’s series opener,

Saturday’s game featured far more drama. The Padres won 5-4 after

Adrian Gonzalez doubled in David Eckstein in the 14th inning, the

first runner to cross home plate since the Rockies’ Brad Hawpe tied

the score with his second homer of the game in the sixth.

San Diego (2-3) had several chances to break the deadlock

earlier, but went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and

left 13 men on base.

“We had some opportunities late and we just couldn’t get the big

knock,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “But the pitching held us

together and finally we broke through.”

The bullpens for each team pitched well, but they also racked up

several innings.

The Padres had six relievers combine to throw eight shutout

innings and the Rockies also used six relievers over seven innings.

Colorado (2-3) managed only two hits off San Diego’s relief

corps.

“I don’t know what happened with our offense,” Rockies third

baseman Ian Stewart said. “It was one of those nights where we

couldn’t get a hit (late), let alone a clutch hit.”

Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez managed only one hit in

six at-bats, and is 2 for 11 in the last two games after starting

the season 8 for 15. He should have a good chance of getting back

on track Sunday, as he’s 7 for 11 with five doubles lifetime

against Garland.

With the bullpens exhausted, Jimenez (1-0, 1.50 ERA) and Garland

(0-1, 4.50) will try to step up in the finale.

In the Rockies’ season-opening 5-3 win at Milwaukee on Monday,

Jimenez allowed one run and eight hits with six strikeouts in six

innings, but was removed after throwing 99 pitches. The

hard-throwing right-hander, whose fastball hit 99 mph on the

stadium’s radar gun, had to face a few extra batters because of

errors by Stewart and Troy Tulowitzki.

Garland was also hurt by his defense in Monday’s 6-3 opening-day

loss to Arizona as Everth Cabrera and Chase Headley committed

errors leading to a short outing. The right-hander ended up

allowing six runs – two earned – and five hits in four innings in

his San Diego debut.

Garland pitched for Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers last

season, and made two starts against the Rockies, going 1-0 with a

2.63 ERA.

Jimenez faced the Padres once in 2009, allowing three runs and

three hits with 10 strikeouts in seven innings of a 5-3 win on July

17. He is 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four starts against the

Padres, limiting them to a .157 batting average.

Jimenez was 8-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 15 starts at Coors Field last

season. He was at his best in Denver down the stretch, going 4-1

with a 2.72 ERA in seven home starts after the All-Star break.