Darren Oliver is one of the few pitchers who prefers playing at Coors Field.
Oliver is undefeated at home after getting the win in the Rockies’ 10-5 victory over the Padres at Coors Field on Thursday. The left-hander is 4-0 with a 3.08 ERA in six home starts, but is 0-5 with a 6.91 ERA in eight road outings.
“He has better command here than he does on the road,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “He uses his cut fastball well. He is throwing it to right-handers, he is back-dooring it and he has thrown the slow breaking ball.”
Oliver credits batterymate Charles Johnson for helping him develop a comfort level with Colorado this season.
“With, C.J. back there, it’s just like playing catch in the backyard with your dad as a kid,” Oliver said.
The Rockies are hoping Oliver can pick up where teammate Shawn Chacon left off.
Chacon held the Padres to one run and struck out eight over seven innings in a 5-1 win in the series opener on Monday.
Colorado has won three straight and five of six to move two games above .500 for the first time since it was 16-14 on May 3.
Chacon earned his NL-leading 11th win and broke the Rockies team record for wins before the All-Star break. He had been tied with Kevin Ritz, who was 10-5 during the first half of 1996.
Ryan Klesko hit his 15th home run for the Padres’ only run.
San Diego has won five of its last nine, with three of the losses coming to Colorado.
STANDINGS: Rockies - 4th place, 6 1/2 GB, NL West. Padres - 5th place, 21 1/2 GB, NL West.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Oliver (4-5, 5.11 ERA). The veteran left-hander gave up three runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings in the 10-5 win over San Diego on Thursday. Oliver is 4-2 with a 4.86 ERA in seven career starts against San Diego.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Brian Lawrence (4-8, 4.86 ERA). Lawrence is 1-3 with a 5.05 ERA over his last five starts. The 27-year-old righty was roughed up by Colorado on Thursday, allowing six runs and eight hits over just four innings in the loss. Lawrence is 4-2 with a 6.84 ERA in nine career appearances, including seven starts, against Colorado,
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Todd Helton, .343 avg. and 67 runs; Preston Wilson, 17 HRs, 67 RBIs and 6 SBs. Padres - Mark Loretta, .302 avg.; Klesko, 15 HRs and 43 RBIs; Xavier Nady, 34 runs; Ramon Vazquez and Shane Victorino, 7 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 7-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - OF Larry Walker has four hits, including a homer, and seven walks in 19 plate appearances against RHP Lawrence. … INF Ronnie Belliard was activated from the 15-day disabled list before Monday’s game. Belliard was placed on the DL on June 3 after spraining his right ankle. … OF Wilson leads the NL with 67 RBIs. Padres - RHP Lawrence is 1-for-3 with a home run in three lifetime at bats against LHP Oliver. … 1B Phil Nevin took batting practice Monday for the first time since dislocating his left shoulder diving for a ball in left field on March 7 during a spring training game. Nevin, who thinks he might return to action around Aug. 15, took 50 swings. … 1B Klesko’s homer Monday was his 100th with the Padres. He has 239 career home runs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 11-25 on the road; Padres - 14-26 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Denny Stark (side), 60-day DL. Padres - INF Lou Merloni (knee), 15-day DL; INF 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; OF Nevin (shoulder), 60-day DL.