Colorado (51-78) at San Diego (63-65)

  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Aug 28, 2005
  • TV: KTVD, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Brian Giles will try to help the San Diego Padres avoid an embarrassing three-game sweep by the lowly Colorado Rockies.

With San Diego’s offense struggling over the last three months, Giles has been one of the few hitters manager Bruce Bochy has been able to rely on. The veteran right fielder is hitting .337 (29-for-86) over the last 23 games and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games.

Like many of his teammates, Giles has had trouble producing at pitcher-friendly Petco Park. He is batting only .269 (58-for-215) with five of his 13 homers at home.

Giles hit .287 with 10 homers in 80 games at Petco last season.

San Diego turned in another dismal offensive performance in a 4-2 loss on Saturday. The Padres, who produced a pair of extra-base hits among their eight hits, have scored three runs or fewer in five of their last six games.

Despite the loss, San Diego’s lead in the disappointing NL West is still 5 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona. No team with a losing record has ever led a division this late in a season.

Last-place Colorado has actually been the best team in the division since June 1, going 36-43. The Rockies have won four straight overall.

“It would have been a good year to be halfway decent,” said first baseman Todd Helton, who belted his third career grand slam in Saturday’s win. “Any other year we’re in it right now.”

Colorado set a franchise record by capturing its fourth consecutive road series. The Rockies will be trying to complete their first three-game sweep at San Diego since April 17-19, 2001.

The Rockies have won eight of their last 11 games away from Denver.

“There will be a group of Rockies who will turn that around,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of the team’s long history of poor play on the road. “These guys have planted a few of the seeds that maybe they are the group.”

Pedro Astacio will make his seventh start of the season for San Diego. The veteran right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA over his last three starts after allowing two runs and seven hits over six innings in the Padres’ 7-2, 13-inning win over Atlanta on Aug. 20.

“It started with Astacio,” Bochy said. “Great effort by him. We were on the ropes a couple times, but we got out of it.”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Wright LAD vs. P. Astacio WAS
8-16 Record 6-10
5.46 ERA 4.69
101 K 78
81 BB 37
1.65 WHIP 1.34