Rockies make brief stop home to face Padres
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies make a pit stop at Coors Field, beginning a three-game series Friday with the San Diego Padres before leaving to complete a stretch of 14 of 17 games on the road.
The Rockies are coming off a 6-2 road trip that began with a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers but ended with a thud. After winning the first two games at Arizona, the Rockies dropped the final two games of the series when their starters combined to pitch four innings as Colorado was outscored 15-2 by the Diamondbacks.
"We are frustrated because we won six in a row on this trip, so you would like to finish it off with a bang," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "As you know, we talk a lot about starting pitching, and the last two (games) it hasn't been there for us."
The Rockies (80-67) trail the Diamondbacks (85-62) by five games in the race for the top National League wild-card spot. Colorado leads the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers (both 77-69) by 2 1/2 games for the second wild card.
Colorado is 41-31 at home but has lost 10 of its past 15 games at Coors Field. The Rockies are 8-4 against the Padres this season and 4-2 at Coors Field, where Colorado swept three games from July 17-19 when the teams last played.
Right-hander Tyler Chatwood (7-12, 4.70 ERA) will start Friday for the Rockies against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard (7-13, 4.78).
Chatwood is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts since going back in the rotation in the No. 5 spot.
He worked three scoreless innings Sept. 5 against the San Francisco Giants in his first start since Aug. 2, throwing only 28 of 61 pitches for strikes while giving up four hits and four walks with three strikeouts.
On Sunday at Los Angeles, Chatwood held the Dodgers scoreless for five innings on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts, raising both his pitch count and efficiency -- 75 pitches, 48 strikes.
Chatwood is 5-2 with a 4.41 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) against the Padres and 1-2, 4.82 in three starts against them this season.
He is 2-6 with a 6.25 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) at Coors Field this year.
Richard, who will be pitching on seven days' rest, is 4-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) against the Rockies and 1-4, 9.21 in eight starts at Coors Field.
This season, Richard is 1-1, 12.54 in two starts against the Rockies, including an ugly outing at Coors Field on July 19 when he gave up 11 runs (10 earned) and 14 hits in 3 2/3 innings and lost 18-4.
Richard pitched six scoreless innings in his last start Sept. 7 against the St. Louis Cardinals, and he was the winning pitcher in the Padres' 3-0 victory. In his past seven starts, Richard is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA.
The Padres (65-81) were off Thursday after being swept in a two-game series at the Minnesota Twins, dropping their road record to 26-46. They have lost three straight and are in an odd pattern, winning three straight from Sept. 2-4, losing three straight from Sept. 4-6, winning three straight from Sept. 7-9 and now losing three straight.
The Padres are 11-15 to begin a 42-game stretch from Aug. 17 through the end of the season when the Giants are the only team they will play that owns a losing record.
"That basically says you are going to get to test yourself and see if you've made strides during the year," Padres manager Andy Green told MLB.com. "I think there are a lot of positive signs. We also have work to do. This team is not talented enough to show up and say we're starting to arrive. We have a long way to go. Staying hungry, continuing to work and being tested by top teams ... it's a tough stretch, and it is fun that way."