The Colorado Rockies opened their lengthiest road trip of the season with their lineup looking right at home, but a visit to the San Diego Padres immediately thwarted that momentum – similar to years past.
The Rockies' potent lineup hopes to figure out the confines of Petco Park on Tuesday night, where they have dropped nearly 80 percent of their games to the last-place Padres since September 2013.
Colorado (12-13) opened its 10-game trip with a promising sweep of Arizona, snapping a five-game skid with 20 runs and 32 hits in the series.
Yet, San Diego (10-16) has a way of silencing opposing bats in Petco Park – especially Colorado's.
The Rockies – baseball's fourth highest-scoring team at 5.32 runs per game – were held to a lone run for the third time with Monday's 2-1 defeat, a strikingly similar result to their last 23 games in San Diego dating to Sept. 6, 2013. Eighteen have been losses, largely due to Colorado's 2.78 run-scoring average.
The Rockies' 2.90 runs per game at Petco Park since the start of the 2014 season are fewer than any other ballpark in which they have played more than eight games. The Padres have opened 5-8 there, while Colorado is 8-5 on the road.
Maybe a matchup against Andrew Cashner will help the Rockies' cause. Cashner (1-2, 4.94 ERA) is coming off his worst outing of the season, allowing six runs – three earned – and four hits over 2 2/3 innings with four walks in Wednesday's 13-9 loss at San Francisco.
Cashner had surrendered just two runs and seven hits in 12 innings over his previous two starts – both at Petco where he holds a career 2.71 ERA.
“That game was the aberration, the last one in San Francisco,” manager Andy Green told MLB's official website. “He has to attack with the fastball, he has to trust it. He needs to have that depth of conviction in every pitch, and when he does that, Cash is really, really good. And that's the guy I'm expecting to toe the rubber.”
Cashner's career numbers against Colorado don't provoke as much confidence as his manager does.
The right-hander holds a 6.08 ERA against the Rockies in 11 appearances, six starts, and they have pounded him for a .339 average – the highest of any team he's faced more than once.
Nolan Arenado is 6 for 16 with a pair of doubles against Cashner, while DJ LeMahieu is 5 for 12 with a double. Also, Gerardo Parra is 4 for 9 with three walks.
While Arenado is batting .462 with four home runs and eight RBIs during a six-game hitting streak, Parra enters hitting .359 with 10 RBIs during his own eight-game run.
Eddie Butler (0-0, 3.86) will take the mound for Colorado after getting recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on April 27. He was thrust into action that day, striking out four in 2 1/3 innings in relief of a 9-8, 12-inning loss to Pittsburgh.
“I didn't even know how to approach it,” he said.
The right-hander will make his first big league start since August after going 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA at Triple-A. He's 1-9 with a 6.91 ERA in his past 12 starts for the Rockies, allowing 78 hits in 57 1/3 innings.
The damage wasn't all at Coors Field, either, as he held a 6.42 mark in seven on the road.