Casey Kelly 's recent outings have been the other exception.
Kelly tries to bounce back from another disappointing showing when he takes the ball for the Padres on Saturday night against the Rockies.
Prior to Andrew Cashner getting knocked around for six runs over 3 2-3 innings in Friday 7-4 loss - snapping San Diego's winning streak at four - the team's starters had allowed three runs or fewer in eight of 10 games. Kelly (1-1, 7.07 ERA) was on the mound for the two less-than-stellar outings in that stretch.
The Rockies (58-85) were the first team to feast on his pitching, as the right-hander was touched up for seven runs in 5 2-3 innings on Sept. 2 in a wild 11-10 loss. Tyler Colvin and Ramon Hernandez each hit two-run homers off Kelly, who was then tagged for six runs in 2 1-3 innings while losing 8-5 to Arizona last Saturday."I'm going to learn a lot from this," he said after serving up three more homers to the Diamondbacks. "It's just going to make me better down the road."
The Padres (69-76) are hoping Kelly, who threw six scoreless innings in his major league debut against Atlanta on Aug. 27, can make some positive strides sooner rather than later in order to avoid a similar showing to Cashner's on Friday.
San Diego responded in the bottom of the first with rookie Yonder Alonso 's grand slam, but the Padres managed five more hits the rest of the way in losing for only the sixth time in 23 games. Three of those defeats, however, have come in four games with the Rockies.
Carlos Gonzalez tied his career high with four hits and stole two bases Friday to become the first Rockie to reach the 20-20 club in three consecutive seasons, while Chris Nelson continued his surge, going 3 for 4 with a homer, double and two RBIs. Nelson is batting .522 with two home runs and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
San Diego center fielder Cameron Maybin is on a similar tear, batting .474 with a homer, three doubles and four RBIs in his last five contests. He is 10 for 17 in his last four games against the Rockies, and 1 for 3 lifetime against Drew Pomeranz (1-8, 4.80).
Pomeranz hasn't won since beating Washington on July 6, failing to finish five innings in seven of his last eight starts. He made it through four on Sunday in Philadelphia, yielding a run and four hits.
For the most part, the early exits haven't been a result of overly poor showings - the rookie left-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in four of five starts - but rather a lack of efficiency under Jim Tracy 's pitch-count limit of 75.
Pomeranz didn't come close to throwing that many pitches in his last start against San Diego on July 20, when he was tagged for a career-worst seven runs in three innings of a 9-5 loss.
He has a 7.50 ERA in losing his three career starts versus the Padres.
|September 10, 2012||Ramon Hernandez||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring strain|
|August 22, 2012||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Left game - right ankle injury|
|August 20, 2012||Eric Young||15-Day DL||Left intercostal strain|
|August 19, 2012||Josh Rutledge||Day-to-Day||Left game - left quad tightness|
|August 19, 2012||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Right oblique strain|
|August 14, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Chest soreness|
|San Diego Padres|
|September 11, 2012||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|August 23, 2012||Jason Marquis||15-Day DL||Fractured left wrist|
|August 17, 2012||Nick Hundley||Day-to-Day||Bruised right knee|
|August 16, 2012||Nick Hundley||60-Day DL||Bruised right knee|
|August 11, 2012||Huston Street||15-Day DL||Strained left calf|
|July 31, 2012||Yasmani Grandal||15-Day DL||Strained oblique|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Padres believe they have a special talent in Casey Kelly .
The rookie pitcher showed on Saturday night why the Padres insisted on him being included in the Adrian Gonzalez trade with Boston in 2010.
Kelly carried a shutout into the seventh inning and Jesus Guzman hit a three-run homer, leading the Padres to a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies .
Kelly (2-1), making his fourth major league start, kept the Rockies off balance with a mixture of fastballs and curveballs. Colorado advanced just one runner to third base against Kelly through six innings.
"You get more and more comfortable every time out there," Kelly said. "Every inning you get you feel more comfortable with the team. I think every outing is just getting more and more comfortable."
Kelly looked more like the pitcher who allowed just three hits in six scoreless inning of his major-league debut, a 3-0 win over Atlanta on Aug. 27. In his next two outings, Kelly was hammered for 13 runs - 11 earned - on 16 hits over just eight innings.
"He had a terrific breaking ball early," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "On his two-strike pitches, he did a great job of making them strikes out of his hand."
Colorado finally reached the rookie for three runs in the seventh.
Kelly allowed three runs - two earned - on seven hits over six-plus innings. He struck out six.
"The velocity came back today, a lot of pitches in the low 90s," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The ball had carry and he got his grounders and he got his strikeouts. "He was very efficient."
Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in 12 chances.
Rookie Drew Pomeranz (1-9) dropped his sixth straight decision for Colorado, which lost for the eighth time in its last 10 games.
The Rockies need to win 10 of their last 18 games to avoid tying the franchise's worst record at 67-95.
San Diego has won eight of 10 overall and 12 of 15 at Petco Park.
Guzman homered to center in the third inning off Pomeranz to give San Diego a 4-0 lead.
"A home run ball that was outside," Pomeranz said. "Sometimes it happens that way. It wasn't a bad pitch. It wasn't even in the strike zone. I don't know how he hit it so far."
Padres shortstop Andy Parrino committed a fielding error and Tyler Colvin followed with a single to start the Rockies' seventh.
Chris Nelson then doubled in one run and Charlie Blackmon had an RBI single to knock Kelly out of the game. Brad Brach came in and gave up DJ LeMahieu's sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 4-3 before getting the final two outs.
Pomeranz was pulled after three innings with his pitch count at 67. The rookie allowed four runs on four hits with three strikeouts, two walks and a wild pitch. The Rockies have employed a 75-pitch limit on their starters since just past mid-June.
San Diego scored in the second inning after a scary collision between second baseman LeMahieu and right fielder Blackmon.
With Cameron Maybin on first with a two-out single, Parrino hit a popup into shallow right field. As LeMahieu and Blackmon converged to make the catch, they rammed their shoulders full force into each other. Blackmon fell to the grass, but LeMahieu stayed on his feet and got the ball into the infield as Parrino ended up with a double.
NOTES: Pomeranz has failed to finish five innings in eight of his last nine starts. ... The Padres honored longtime broadcaster Jerry Coleman with a bronze statue at Petco Park before Saturday night's game. ... There was a large star cut into the center-field grass in honor of one of Coleman's catch phrases, "You can hang a star on that." ... Rockies manager Jim Tracy said his team will modify the current 75-pitch limit on starting pitchers next season. The Rockies will move the limit to between 75 and 90-100 pitches. ... Jordan Pacheco will start his second game at catcher on Sunday for Colorado. Pacheco has started 104 previous games this season - 80 at third base, 23 at first and one at catcher. ... When speaking about the 2013 season, San Diego manager Bud Black said, "The group that you're seeing here, position wise, will be the group you'll see coming back." ... Padres LF Carlos Quentin (sore right knee) has not started in four consecutive games. ... Rockies RHP Alex White (2-8, 5.18) faces Padres LHP Andrew Werner (2-1, 2.59) in the series finale on Sunday.