Despite being the lowest-scoring team in the majors, the San Diego Padres have put up impressive numbers this month, aided the past week by matchups against two of the league's worst clubs.
The Padres look to win their fifth straight Saturday night when they continue their series against the visiting Colorado Rockies .
Through the end of June, San Diego (40-55) was averaging 3.4 runs, but it is 11-5 in July while scoring 4.7 runs per game. Over its last seven contests - a 6-1 stretch - it has scored seven or more runs five times.
Behind three home runs and 13 hits Friday, the Padres defeated Colorado 9-5. Carlos Quentin 's three hits included a solo homer, while Yasmani Grandal drove in three runs with a two-run shot and a double.
"I think we're having some quality at-bats," said Quentin, who has six hits and two homers in his last 19 at-bats. "We're getting on base consistently throughout the lineup. Guys are causing havoc on the bases and having good at-bats."
A favorable stretch in the schedule has helped, with San Diego taking three of four from major league-worst Houston this week.
Colorado (35-57) has the league's second-worst record, having dropped 11 of 16. The Rockies have given up 24 runs during a three-game skid, with the majors' highest team ERA swelling to 5.31.
The club also lost catcher Wilin Rosario in the second inning Friday with a lower leg injury. He leads all NL rookies in home runs (15) and RBIs (39).
With a 2.61 ERA in his last six starts, Jeff Francis (2-2, 4.76 ERA) has been Colorado's most effective starter lately, and he'll try to stabilize things Saturday for the Rockies. Francis gave up one run and six hits while walking none in five innings of Colorado's 5-4 win over Pittsburgh on Monday.
The left-hander had his best start of the season June 29 against the Padres, giving up three hits in six scoreless innings during a 10-2 victory. He's still 6-13 in his career against San Diego, by far his most losses against any opponent.
San Diego will counter with Kip Wells (1-3, 2.82), who had his best outing in four starts this season July 1 against the Rockies, giving up six hits in seven innings of a 2-0 victory.
He has since lost back-to-back starts - both shutout defeats for the Padres - walking eight in 10 1-3 innings in that stretch. Five of those free passes came in 4 1-3 innings of Monday's 2-0 loss against Houston.
"I just didn't throw enough fastballs to find a rhythm for them," Wells said. "I felt, in looking back, I should have worked off my fastball more than I did."
The right-hander is 1-3 with a 5.53 ERA in seven career starts versus the Rockies.
|July 20, 2012||Wilin Rosario||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower left leg injury|
|July 16, 2012||Chris Nelson||15-Day DL||Irregular heart beat|
|July 16, 2012||Jonathan Herrera||15-Day DL||Left wrist infection|
|July 09, 2012||Todd Helton||15-Day DL||Right hip inflammation|
|July 09, 2012||Wil Nieves||15-Day DL||Turf toe, right foot|
|July 04, 2012||Jason Giambi||Day-to-Day||Stiff back|
|San Diego Padres|
|July 18, 2012||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|July 04, 2012||Andrew Cashner||15-Day DL||Strained muscle in right side|
|June 21, 2012||Anthony Bass||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 10, 2012||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Left game - Sprained neck|
|June 04, 2012||Will Venable||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|June 04, 2012||Eric Stults||15-Day DL||Strained left latissimus dorsi muscle|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Jordan Pacheco came through in a big spot for the Colorado Rockies , earning the respect of his teammates with another good performance at the plate.
Pacheco tied a career high by driving in four runs, including the go-ahead score in the 12th inning, and Michael Cuddyer tied a career high with four hits as the Rockies outlasted the Padres 8-6 on Saturday night.
"He puts together professional at-bats," Cuddyer said. "To see a rookie do that is pretty impressive."
Cuddyer singled off Joe Thatcher (0-3), San Diego's sixth reliever, with one out in the 12th. He was sacrificed to second by Carlos Torres and came around to score on Pacheco's third hit of the game, a single to left. Ramon Hernandez made it 8-6 when he singled home Pacheco.
Cuddyer reached base his last five at-bats with four hits and a walk and scored three runs.
"You can't say enough about the games played tonight by Michael Cuddyer and Jordan Pacheco ," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Tremendous."
The victory snapped the Padres' four-game winning streak and ended the Rockies' three-game skid in a game that lasted 4 hours and 4 minutes and featured 29 hits, 13 pitchers, and two game-saving catches.
Torres (1-0) got the victory with two scoreless innings. Rafael Betancourt , the Rockies' fifth reliever, came on in the 12th to pick up his 16th save in 20 opportunities.
Both teams had impressive catches in right field. The Rockies' Tyler Colvin made a diving grab of a line drive by pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay and turned it into an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth.
"It was an unbelievable catch," Cuddyer said. "The magnitude of the play, the situation, and if he misses it, the game is over. That's an unbelievable play."
Added Tracy: "That play is a game-saver. That's the bottom line."
Padres manager Bud Black had all kinds of emotions as Kotsay smacked the ball into right.
"Off the bat I thought, `No,"' Black said. "As it was coming down, I thought, `Yes,' and as it ended up, it was `No."'
The Padres' Will Venable , a defensive replacement, robbed Marco Scutaro of a potential go-ahead hit in the top of the 11th with a similar diving catch along the right-field line. It would have likely scored Dexter Fowler from second.
"As great as catch Colvin's was, I thought Will's was better," Black said.
Even San Diego's Cameron Maybin , who has had several impressive catches in his career, was impressed.
"Will's was one of the best I've seen," Maybin said. "I mean he slowed down and gave his body up."
Added Tracy: "I didn't think Will Venable had a chance at catching that ball, either. Those two (catches) better show up tonight on the MLB Network."
The Padres, who trailed 6-3 in the fourth, tied it at 6 in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out RBI single to left-center by Yasmani Grandal , who scored pinch-runner Maybin from second base. Carlos Quentin doubled down the right-field line off reliever Matt Belisle and Maybin came in to pinch-run for him.
Both starters - San Diego's Kip Wells and Colorado's Jeff Francis - struggled. Wells gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, while Francis yielded five runs on eight hits in five innings.
The Padres took a 3-0 lead after two innings. Chase Headley had a two-run single in the first and Jesus Guzman hit his fourth homer of the season in the second.
The Rockies batted around in the fourth inning, scoring four runs on Pacheco's two-run single and RBI singles by Hernandez and Josh Rutledge . Wells threw 42 pitches in the half-inning that lasted 27 minutes.
The Rockies knocked out Wells in the fifth on Colvin's RBI single that scored Cuddyer, who had doubled. Cuddyer scored when Pacheco greeted reliever Nick Vincent with a double into the left-field corner making it 6-3.
Francis left after giving up two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a triple by Guzman, an RBI double by Everth Cabrera and Chris Denorfia 's RBI single.
"Our bullpen surrenders one run in seven innings of work," Tracy said. "Not too shabby."
NOTES: Rockies LHP Jonathan Sanchez , acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Royals on Friday, pitched a bullpen session Saturday and will make his first start for his new team Monday in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. "It feels good coming back into the National League and being in the same division that I was two years ago," said Sanchez, who pitched for the San Francisco Giants . "I know a little more about the league and I have pitched well in the past at Coors Field, but you never know what's going to happen this time." ... Rockies C Wilin Rosario was listed as day-to-day after injuring an ankle Friday night. Manager Jim Tracy said Rosario "had his ankle taped and is a little tender today and we'll see where he is at Sunday." ... Cabrera extended his Padres club record for consecutive stolen bases to begin a season with his 18th steal in the seventh inning. ... Maybin missed a third straight start with wrist soreness. He came in to pinch-run for Quentin in the eighth. ... RHP Ross Ohlendorf (3-0, 5.87) will pitch for San Diego in the third and final game of the series Sunday against LHP Christian Friedrich (5-7, 5.85).