Padres’ Lyles looks to extend Rockies’ skid

Jake Roth

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres will turn to Jordan Lyles to stifle the Colorado Rockies on Friday. And that reminded San Diego manager Andy Green of a recent conversation he had with catcher Austin Hedges.

Lyles was rocked by Colorado on Saturday, allowing seven runs on eight hits over four innings. When Green took the ball from the right-hander, the manager asked Hedges for report.

“His stuff is really good,” Hedges told Green.

However, Lyles (1-3, 7.35 ERA) was getting the stuffing knocked out of him.

So Lyles and pitching coach Darren Balsley got busy. They worked in between starts in effort to put a wrinkle in Lyles’ easy delivery.

“They have done some serious work in the bullpen, which is good for me,” Green said. “And I talked to Jordan quite a bit about how he pitches and what he features. The truth is his stuff is alive, it’s good stuff. But it tends to get hit a little bit more than it should.

“There has been talk about trying to create some deception, trying to do some subtle things that might make it a little more tougher on hitters. We like his pitch mix, it just hasn’t played quite effectively, honestly through his career, as well as it maybe could have.”

Anything that is different from his last outing against his former team works for Green. Lyles went 0-1 with a 6.94 ERA in 33 relief appearances for Colorado earlier this season before he was released. San Diego signed him to a minor league deal in August, then called him up on Sept. 1.

Maybe Lyles’ new look will produce fresh results. He is 0-2 lifetime against the Rockies with a 7.27 ERA.

Despite a four-game losing streak, the Rockies (82-71) enter play Friday with a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the second National League wild-card spot.

The St. Louis Cardinals are 1 1/2 games back of Colorado.

San Diego (69-84) is eliminated from the postseason picture, but the Padres are trying to make the most of the spoiler role.

The Padres beat the Rockies 3-0 on Thursday in the opener of the four-game series.

“It’s a good win for the team, first win of the series against a good team battling for the playoffs,” said Padres starter Clayton Richard, who pitched 7 1/3 innings for the victory. “These games mean a lot to them, and we are going to play them like they mean a lot to us.”

Colorado will try to bounce back behind Jon Gray (8-4, 3.75 ERA).

Gray has won five of his last seven starts, and he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his past 11 starts. In his latest outing, he didn’t get the win, but he threw five innings of scoreless ball against the Padres on Sunday. He is 3-2 with a 2.50 ERA in his career against San Diego.

“Jon is throwing the ball great, has a lot of momentum, and hopefully it continues that’s way,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The fastball location, the good slider, throwing the curve. He’s putting three quality … pitches in play the last number of starts. He’s really in a good spot.”