The San Diego Padres are starting to show some signs of life
The Colorado Rockies are mired in one of their worst offensive
slumps of the season.
In a matchup of teams heading in opposite directions, the Padres
look to win for the eighth time in 10 games in Monday night’s
series opener against a Rockies team trying to avoid its 13th loss
in 17 contests.
With Sunday’s 7-2 win over Houston, San Diego (27-33) won its
third in a row and plated its most runs since an 8-4 victory over
Arizona on May 16. The Padres have averaged 4.2 runs while batting
.259 in winning seven of nine after averaging 1.3 runs and hitting
.183 in losing eight of 10.
“We have been playing a lot better, more like we are capable of
playing and how we want to play,” said Chase Headley, who is
batting .345 with five RBIs during a career-high 15-game hitting
streak. “Fortunately, we didn’t play bad enough that we played
ourselves out of it early. We are still within striking distance. I
like the way we’re playing.”
The Padres are last in the NL West, but within 6 1/2 games of
first-place San Francisco, the smallest division deficit for any
last-place team. Improving their play in San Diego would certainly
help the Padres’ chances in the division race.
San Diego is an NL-worst 12-21 at home, and went 2-7 against the
Rockies last season at Petco Park.
The Padres took two of three from the Rockies at Coors Field
from May 13-15, scoring 24 runs while batting .296. Ryan Ludwick
hit .364 with a homer and five RBIs, while Brad Hawpe went 4 for 8
with a home run and three RBIs against his former team.
Colorado’s offense also fared well in the first series, totaling
21 runs and hitting .290. Troy Tulowitzki led the way, batting .357
with a home run and five RBIs.
The Rockies’ bats have been pretty quiet ever since.
Colorado (27-31) was limited to four hits in Sunday’s 2-1 loss
to the Giants – its 12th defeat in 16 games – and has scored three
or fewer runs in 11 of its last 12.
“Got to hit, that’s all I’ve got,” manager Jim Tracy said. “You
give up two runs, you should win. It’s that simple. We gave up six
runs in the series but we only scored four.”
Leadoff hitter Eric Young is batting .190 with eight strikeouts
and no walks in his last six games and Todd Helton is hitting .077
with a homer and two RBIs in his last five.
Helton and his teammates hope to turn things around against
scheduled starter Clayton Richard (2-6, 4.52 ERA), who allowed
three runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings in
Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to Atlanta.
This will be Richard’s first start of the season against the
Rockies after facing them six times in 2010. The left-hander went
1-2 with a 6.15 ERA, including 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three home
Helton is batting .429 lifetime against Richard, while
Tulowitzki is hitting .583 with three homers in 12 at-bats against
Colorado counters with Clayton Mortensen (1-3, 3.69), who will
be facing for the Padres for the first time.
Mortensen allowed a season-high five runs, five hits and four
walks over four innings in Tuesday’s 8-2 loss to the Los Angeles
Dodgers. The right-hander, who failed to record a strikeout for the
first time this season, has recorded a 5.94 ERA in losing his last