San Diego (60-92) at Colorado (69-84)

  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 19, 2003
  • TV: Ch4, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Colorado Rockies look to get back on track at Coors Field as they open a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.

The Rockies have a 46-29 home record, but lately they have stumbled in front of the home crowd.

Colorado has lost four straight home series for the first time since June 12 to July 22, 2001, when it lost five in a row. The Rockies are 2-10 in their last 12 home games.

The Houston Astros handed Colorado its first shutout at home since 1999, increasing their NL Central lead Thursday with a 6-0 victory.

The Rockies had scored in a record 361 consecutive home games since San Diego’s Andy Ashby pitched a six-hitter on July 4, 1999. The previous record was 258 games by the Boston Braves from 1892-1896.

Before Colorado, the post-1900 record was held by the New York Yankees. They scored in 233 straight home games from 1930-33, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball’s statistician.

The Rockies hope to rebound against Padres rookie right-hander Ben Howard.

Howard gave up four runs—one earned—and nine hits over five innings in a 5-2 loss to Los Angeles on Sunday. The 24-year-old righty has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his four starts.

The Padres have lost 10 of 13.

Gary Matthews Jr. hit a two-run double as San Diego avoided a four-game sweep with a 7-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

Khalil Greene doubled twice among his three hits and drove in a run for the Padres, who were outscored 20-12 in the first three games of the series. It was the first career multihit game for Greene, a rookie.

STANDINGS: Padres - 5th place, 33 1/2 GB, NL West. Rockies - 4th place, 25 GB, NL West.

PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Howard (1-2, 3.22 ERA). Right-handed batters are hitting .244 against Howard. He is 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in two road starts.

ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Scott Elarton (3-4, 7.13 ERA). The 27-year-old righty is 0-3 with a 9.30 ERA in eight career appearances against San Diego, including six starts.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Padres - Mark Loretta, .322 avg.; Ryan Klesko, 21 HRs; Brian Giles, 82 RBIs and 85 runs; Gary Matthews, 12 SBs. Rockies - Todd Helton, .355 avg. and 128 runs; Preston Wilson, 34 HRs, 136 RBIs and 12 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 8-5.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Padres - SS Loretta is 1-for-11 in his career against Elarton. … The Padres finish their 10-game road trip this weekend in Colorado, then return home for the final seven games of the season. … OF Giles is in a 5-for-24 road slump. Rockies - Colorado needs one more home win to tie last season’s total, when it went 47-34 at Coors Field. … OF Wilson leads the majors with 136 RBIs, but is 1-for-14 with no RBIs over the last four games. … 1B Helton is second in the NL with a .355 batting average. He has hit at least .315 in six straight seasons.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Padres - 28-50 on the road; Rockies - 46-29 at home.

INJURIES: Padres - INF Klesko (shoulder), 15-day DL. Rockies - C Bobby Estalella (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Howard MIL vs. S. Elarton MIN
1-3 Record 4-4
3.63 ERA 6.27
24 K 20
15 BB 20
1.33 WHIP 1.80