The Padres are back home after a long, depressing road trip and will try to return to winning ways at Petco Park. Tonight they kick off a series against division rival Colorado Rockies, who have also been struggling lately. The two teams are meeting for their 11th game against each other this year and so far the Rockies have dominated the season series. The Padres have dropped eight of the first ten games, including a three-game sweep at Petco Park in the second week of April. That was during the stretch in which the Padres went 5-15 to start the season. They are currently in the midst of a 4-15 stretch, having dropped back down to last place in the division, nine games under .500, and 7 1/2 games out of first. The Rockies, now third place in the NL West, haven't been doing much better, dropping three straight coming into tonight and 17 of their last 24. They've gone just 2-10 in their last 12 on the road.
In this final homestand before the All-Star Break, the Padres will hope to make up some ground and get back into the thick of the division race. Edinson Volquez will kick it off tonight as he tries to tackle a lineup that has given him nothing but trouble. Over his last four starts against Colorado (three in 2013), Volquez is 0-3 with a 13.22 ERA. He most recently faced them at Coors Field on June 7th and gave up a career-high nine runs on 11 hits while lasting just 2 1/3 innings. Since that outing, however, he's made five starts and gone 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA. In his latest start, he gave up just one earned run while striking out six against the Red Sox.
Volquez' opposite tonight will be Tyler Chatwood, who hopes to bounce back after a loss to the Dodgers his last time out. He gave up a season-high six runs (five earned) on 11 hits in five innings of work. He has 3 2/3 innings of experience as a starter against San Diego as well as two innings in relief. In his only start against the Padres, last September, he gave up four runs before exiting the game in the 4th and coming out with an no-decision. He will try to redeem himself from that outing and notch his first win against the Padres.