The Padres were unable to take advantage of their impressive game-tying rally last night, taking their
eighth seventh loss in nine eight games against the Rockies this season. With the current series now tied at a game apiece, San Diego will turn to Eric Stults to put them ahead. In his most recent outing, he took the loss against his former team in L.A., keeping the Dodgers to just two runs in his seven innings of work while the Padres could only squeak out a single run of support for him. Stults hasn't pitched against the Rockies since he was a Dodger back in 2009, but in four career starts against them he is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA.
Conversely, Jeff Francis has had tons of experience pitching against the Padres, whom he's faced more than any other team in his career. He hasn't had a lot of success, though, going 7-13 in 26 career starts against them while posting a 5.53 ERA. Francis is eligible to come off the DL tomorrow and is expected to make the start versus San Diego. He suffered a groin strain during his last start on May 14th, though he threw a decent game (one run in six innings of work) that day and got his first win since his season opener on April 5th. He pitched four innings in Triple-A Colorado Springs Monday, giving up three earned runs while striking out five. If he takes the mound tonight as expected, it will be a spot start for Tyler Chatwood, who is recovering from some soreness in his right tricep.
The Rockies offense has been unbeatable lately as the team has gone 5-2 over their last seven games and scored 46 runs during that span to claim the second place spot in the NL West standings. The team as a whole is batting .299 in that stretch, with Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, and Dexter Fowler hitting a combined .354 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI. However, Cuddyer was out of the lineup Friday with a rib strain and Gonzalez left the game after turning his ankle during his at-bat in the 6th inning, so it is uncertain whether they will be available for tonight's game. Nolan Arenado, whose walkoff solo homer gave Colorado the win last night, has gone 8-for-17 over the last three games.
The Padres snapped their winless streak against the Rockies with a 6-5 12-inning win in the series opener on Thursday night. Last night they scored nine runs off Colorado pitching. Kyle Blanks, who is filling in at first base for the injured Yonder Alonso, has four hits in the series so far, as do Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin. Everth Cabrera has five hits and is riding an eight-game hitting streak coming into tonight's contest. And Jedd Gyorko has six hits in the series, including a home run last night.