The Colorado Rockies ' experiment with a four-man rotation has kept their starters on a pitch count, but with the team coming off its longest game this season, it could pose a challenge for manager Jim Tracy .
Colorado (36-57) moved to a four-man rotation last month and Tracy has been mindful of pitch counts, with no starter throwing more than 89 pitches over the last 23 games.
That decision has placed added pressure on the bullpen, particularly over the last few games. Rockies relievers pitched 6 1-3 innings Wednesday against Pittsburgh, five innings on Friday and seven innings in Saturday's 8-6, 12-inning victory over the Padres.
Jordan Pacheco had three hits and four RBIs, driving in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 12th and Rafael Betancourt earned the save with a perfect inning. Carlos Torres picked up the win with two scoreless frames.
"Our bullpen surrenders one run in seven innings of work," Tracy said. "Not too shabby."
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Rockies, who have the second-worst record in the majors ahead of only Houston.
After using five relievers in their first extra-inning game in nearly a month, the Rockies desperately need a good performance from Friedrich (5-7, 5.85 ERA), who is 1-6 with a 7.09 ERA in his last eight starts.
The left-hander gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
"I have to find a way to learn from these outings. Try to take the positives out of it and make it a lesson," Friedrich said.
Making his first start against the Padres, Friedrich looks to snap a three-start road losing streak. Though he's allowed 10 runs in his last two starts away from Coors Field, he has a 3.79 ERA on the road compared to 8.23 at home.
The Padres (40-56) will try to bounce back after their four-game winning streak was snapped Saturday. At least San Diego's offensive resurgence continued as it scored six or more runs for the sixth time in eight games. The Padres still rank 15th in the NL in runs scored.
Ross Ohlendorf (3-0, 5.87) will make his second straight start and fourth of the season. After appearing twice out of the bullpen before the All-Star break, he gave up two runs - one earned - over a season-high six innings in an 8-2 win over Houston on Tuesday.
"I feel good," Ohlendorf told the Padres' official website. "I was really happy with how I pitched, especially as the game went on. I know I can pitch like I did tonight. It's definitely a confidence booster moving forward."
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.75 ERA in five starts against the Rockies. Carlos Gonzalez , who is batting .343 (12 for 35) with two homers and eight RBIs during an eight-game hit streak, is 4 for 11 with a home run and triple against Ohlendorf.
|July 21, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Left arm soreness|
|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|
|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) -- Will Venable made the most of one of the few at-bats he had over the weekend, and Everth Cabrera 's aggressiveness paid off again for the San Diego Padres .
Venable drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Cabrera had two hits and twice beat throws to the plate as the Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Sunday.
"It's tough for me because it's not something I've been accustomed to or learned how to do yet," Venable said of substituting late in games. "It was nice to have that opportunity to get a big knock there."
Venable has mostly face right-handers this season, having only 55 at-bats and a .213 batting average against lefties.
"That was big for Will," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Will got a big knock, the biggest knock of the day. Will against (Matt) Reynolds, who's tough on lefties, got it done."
Dale Thayer (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory for the Padres, who have won seven of nine and three straight series for the first time this season. Huston Street retired the side in order in the ninth to convert his 16th save in as many chances.
Cabrera, who stole home a week ago to tie a game in Los Angeles, singled to lead off the seventh against Adam Ottavino (2-1) before Colorado manager Jim Tracy brought in the left-handed Reynolds to face John Baker and Venable, both left-handed hitters. Baker sacrificed Cabrera to second and Venable, who had only three at-bats in the series and entered in the top of the inning as part of a double switch, singled to right as Cabrera beat Tyler Colvin 's throw home to put San Diego on top 3-2.
Cabrera also scored the tying run in the fourth on a single by Baker and crashed into catcher Jordan Pacheco , who dropped the ball before the collision. Pacheco made his first start at catcher this season since Wilin Rosario was unavailable due to an ankle injury and backup Ramon Hernandez had caught two straight games.
"We've talked about Cabby since we acquired him," Black said. "There is an inherent aggressiveness to his game, especially on the basepaths. He is fearless. Good baserunners, good base-stealers, have that in them. He's not tentative. He doesn't scare off. He's not afraid of getting thrown out. He pushes it."
Eric Young opened the game with a triple against Ross Ohlendorf and scored on Marco Scutaro 's single. San Diego answered in the bottom of the inning when Alexi Amarista scored on Chase Headley 's sacrifice fly against Christian Friedrich .
"They shut us down offensively today, that's what it boils down to," Tracy said. "We had four hits in the first two innings of the game and over the course of the next seven. When your (Nos.) 3, 4, 5 and 6 hitters don't get anything going, it's going to make for a tough day offensively."
Friedrich gave up two runs on three hits in five innings while striking out two and walking three.
"I got a lot of 2-1 outs and 3-1 outs, which usually don't happen," Friedrich said. "But our plan was to go inside today and we stuck to it, but I just couldn't make adjustments to get back over the plate a little more."
Ohlendorf yielded two runs and five hits over a season-high 6 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
DJ LeMahieu had two hits and an RBI for the Rockies, who have lost four of five, and have dropped three consecutive series.
NOTES: Tracy said Rosario is day-to-day and will likely avoid the disabled list. ... Rockies RHP Drew Pomeranz will miss his next start with soreness in his right arm. No decision has been made on who will start in Pomeranz's spot on Tuesday, according to Tracy. ... Newly acquired LHP Jonathan Sanchez will make his first start for the Rockies on Monday in Arizona against Ian Kennedy (7-8, 4.33). ... Clayton Richard (7-10, 3.86) will face Ryan Vogelsong (7-4, 2.31) when San Diego opens a three-game series in San Francisco.