The last two times Jon Gray has pitched, the Colorado Rockies have totaled 25 runs. Eighteen of those have come with him on the mound.
He was supposed to be up against a considerably less fortunate right-hander Sunday, but James Shields was traded by the San Diego Padres a day before he was to try avoiding already eclipsing last season's loss total at home.
Nevertheless, the Padres are trying for a three-game sweep and their fourth win in five games.
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While Gray (3-2, 5.76 ERA) has won consecutive starts for the first time in his career behind those 18 runs, he's set to face rookie Luis Perdomo.
The former gave up three runs and five hits in six innings of Tuesday's 17-4 home win over Cincinnati. The Rockies hit seven home runs as Gray walked three for a third straight start and was still able to limit damage.
“I think tonight's big,” Gray said. “Just not having much of your stuff and no command and being to kind of battle all game and throw up a quality start is big. The way I was feeling, it wasn't going to go that way, so it's good to be able to trick yourself and go out there and battle through pitches, get guys out, and not give up free bases.”
The support, however, hasn't been there against San Diego. Gray has faced the Padres three times and gone 0-1 with a 1.69 ERA. The loss was a 2-1 final in San Diego on May 2 as Gray gave up two runs and four hits in six innings with a career-high 11 strikeouts.
That pitted him against Shields, who was shipped to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday for right-hander Erik Johnson and 17-year-old infielder Fernando Tatis Jr.
“It's never easy to make a trade and trade a guy that you think a lot of in James Shields,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller said. “But on the flip side, you get two players you're really excited about – and some flexibility.”
The Padres (23-34) are coming off Saturday's 4-3 win in which Wil Myers and Derek Norris both homered. Myers is batting .423 with two home runs and three doubles in his last six games, while Norris is 7 for 15 in his last four.
They've won six of eight in the season series, while Colorado (24-31) has lost four straight and seven of eight. The Rockies' pitching in that time has been horrendous, posting a 7.20 ERA while giving up at least four runs in each contest.
Offensively, Mark Reynolds homered and is batting .301 in 49 games after never hitting over .236 since 2009.
Reynolds and the Rockies will be up against the 23-year-old Perdomo, who has made one start and 14 relief appearances in his rookie season.
Perdomo (1-1, 10.04) has given up at least a run in each of his last seven outings, including six runs and six hits with three home runs in two innings of Tuesdays 16-4 loss in Seattle, which was started by Shields.