Colorado hasn’t been at the break-even mark since owning a 30-30 record on June 2.
The Rockies got another strong pitching performance from Shawn Chacon on Wednesday in a 5-3 win.
“We are so close to getting over the hump,” said Chacon, who allowed two runs and five hits for his sixth win in seven starts. “I think this month is a big month for us to put ourselves in a good position going into the second half.”
Manager Clint Hurdle, having watched a pair of lackluster losses to begin this series, challenged his team prior to Wednesday’s third game.
The Rockies responded, and now can smell mediocrity.
“We won a ballgame we needed to win. That’s always an important step,” Hurdle said.
Hurdle and the rest of the Rockies have to be a bit concerned with Jose Jimenez after the closer suffered through his second straight shaky performance. He gave up a three-run homer in the ninth inning of Colorado’s 7-5 loss to San Diego on Monday night. Jimenez then gave up three base runners on Wednesday before getting the quick hook from Hurdle.
San Diego had its three-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday and Mark Loretta saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end.
STANDINGS: Padres - 5th place, 21 GB, NL West. Rockies - 3rd place, 8 GB, NL West.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Brian Lawrence (4-7, 4.52 ERA). Lawrence did not earn a decision in his last start, allowing four runs over seven innings in San Diego’s 6-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. The right-hander beat the Rockies in his lone start against them this season, allowing two runs over six innings. He is 4-1 with a 5.82 ERA in his career against Colorado.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Darren Oliver (3-5, 5.21 ERA). Oliver is looking to rebound from his worst start of the season. He allowed seven runs over five innings in a 15-3 loss to Minnesota last Thursday. The left-hander lost his only start against San Diego this season, allowing all six runs in a 6-4 loss on April 11. He is 3-2 with a 4.99 ERA in his career against San Diego.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Padres - Loretta, .309 avg.; Ryan Klesko, 14 HRs and 41 RBIs; Rondell White and Xavier Nady, 32 runs; Ramon Vazquez, 7 SBs. Rockies - Todd Helton, .335 avg. and 59 runs; Preston Wilson, 15 HRs, 59 RBIs and 6 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 5-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Padres - 3B Sean Burroughs is 9-for-18 in his last five games after going hitless in his previous 10 at-bats. … 3B Phil Nevin took early batting practice and fielded ground balls for the third straight day. Nevin, who has been out all season with a shoulder injury, may return in August. … Of the Padres’ 50 losses, 25 have been by two runs or fewer. Rockies - SS Jose Hernandez leads the majors with 95 strikeouts, including 22 in the past 14 games. He has four in six at-bats against RHP Lawrence. … INF Juan Uribe is 6-for-16 (.375) in his career against Lawrence. … RHP Denny Stark is scheduled to make three more rehab starts, but Hurdle said he could be called up if he continues to pitch well at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Stark, projected as Colorado’s No. 3 starter, has not pitched this season due to a torn oblique muscle.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Padres - 11-26 on the road; Rockies - 26-12 at home.
INJURIES: Padres - INF Lou Merloni (knee), 15-day DL; INF Ramon Vazquez (abdomen), 15-day DL; OF Jason Bay (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Clay Condrey (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Trevor Hoffman (shoulder), 60-day DL; 3B Nevin (shoulder), 60-day DL. Rockies - INF Ronnie Belliard (ankle), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Stark (side), 60-day DL.