In the playoff chase for the first time since 1998, the Padres sit in fifth place in the wild-card standings, two games behind Houston and San Francisco, who are virtually tied for first. The Giants trail by percentage points.
Although the Padres are coming off a series victory over league-leading St. Louis, they’ve faltered of late, losing six of their last nine.
The Padres play their final 23 games against the NL West. They have seven games left against the first-place Dodgers and six against the Giants.
On Wednesday, David Wells threw seven strong innings and even drove in two runs to lead the Padres to a 10-5 win over the Cardinals.
“To go out there against this ballclub and pitch like I did was great because I’ve been waiting for them,” said the 41-year-old lefty, who labored through the first inning but finished strong.
“Boomer came through big-time,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “And we caught (St. Louis starter Matt) Morris on an off day.”
Nevin finished with three hits and three RBIs. He homered into the left-field seats leading off the second to start a three-run inning.
“There is a sense of urgency,” Nevin said. “I think every day we take the field there is a sense like that. We definitely know that with each loss it can slip further away, but the win today was big.”
Colorado, meanwhile, squandered a two-run ninth-inning lead in a 5-3 loss to San Francisco on Wednesday. The Rockies had won their previous three games.
STANDINGS (through Sept. 8): Padres - 3rd place, 6 GB, NL West. Rockies - 4th place, 19 GB, NL West.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Justin Germano (1-1, 6.59 ERA). Recalled on Monday, Germano is up with the Padres for the second time this season. He was 9-5 with a 3.38 ERA in Triple-A Portland, and is making his fourth start and first since June 1 for the Padres. Germano will be making his third start this season against the Rockies. In his last outing against Colorado, a 7-1 loss on June 1, Germano allowed seven runs and five hits over 2 2-3 innings.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Jason Jennings (11-11, 5.90 ERA). The veteran right-hander allowed four runs and six hits over six innings in the Rockies’ 7-6 loss to the Padres on Friday, but did not receive a decision. Jennings, who is 1-3 with a 5.91 ERA over his last six starts, is 3-1 with a 4.54 ERA against the Padres in his career.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Padres - Mark Loretta, .344 avg. and 97 runs; Nevin, 23 HRs and 91 RBIs; Kerry Robinson, 8 SBs. Rockies - Todd Helton, .333 avg.; and 97 runs; Jeromy Burnitz, 34 HRs; Vinny Castilla, 114 RBIs; Aaron Miles, 11 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 8-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Padres - 1B Nevin has four homers and eight RBIs in his last five games. … OF Klesko is 11-for-29 (.379) with four homers against RHP Jennings. … RHP Andy Ashby threw a perfect ninth inning on Wednesday in his season debut for the Padres. Ashby, one of two players left from the ’98 World Series team, received a standing ovation from the crowd of 34,277. Rockies - The Rockies took two of three from the Padres last week at Petco Park … OF Mark Sweeney has a club-record five pinch-hit homers and his 22 pinch-hit RBIs are tied for third most in a season since 1980. … OF Burnitz has eight RBIs in his last four games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Padres - 38-29 on the road; Rockies - 32-36 at home.
INJURIES: Padres - RHP Jay Witasick (oblique), 15-day DL. Rockies - OF Cory Sullivan (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Preston Wilson (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Aaron Cook (lungs), 60-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Denny Stark (groin), 60-day DL; RHP Jason Young (rib), 60-day DL.