San Diego (54-47) at Colorado (47-53)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 42° F
  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 27, 2006
  • TV: Ch4, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Lots of pitchers fare poorly in Coors Field, but few have more trouble there than San Diego Padres starter Woody Williams.

Williams looks to end his struggles at the hitter-friendly Colorado ballpark and lead the Padres to their second five-game winning streak this month when they open a four-game set with the Rockies on Thursday.

Major league clubs have compiled a .309 batting average and 6.10 ERA—both the highest of any park—at Coors Field since it opened in 1995.

Williams (4-2, 3.15 ERA) is 1-2 in six career starts at Coors, with a 15.75 ERA, a .447 opponent batting average and 15 homers allowed in just 24 innings. The ERA is the highest for any pitcher with at least five starts in the ballpark’s history.

In his last start at Coors Field, a 20-1 Padres loss last Sept. 20, Williams allowed nine runs and nine hits in just one inning. The score was the largest margin of victory in Rockies franchise history.

Colorado left fielder Matt Holliday went 4-for-5 with eight RBIs in that contest, and is 6-for-6 with two doubles in his career versus Williams.

Williams lost his last start on Saturday at San Francisco, giving up four runs—one earned—and 10 hits in seven innings as the Padres lost their fourth straight game, 4-3.

San Diego (54-47) has not lost since, winning its last four contests to improve to 4-3 on its 11-game road trip. The Padres have scored at least six runs in each game of the winning streak, including a 10-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

“It was a good day all around,” said starting pitcher Jake Peavy, who homered, doubled and drove in four runs. “We work on our hitting and we take pride in going up there and helping yourself by putting the ball in play.”

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a homer to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He is batting .432 (32-for-74) with eight homers, 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored during the run.

The Padres are looking to record their second five-game winning streak in July. San Diego won five in a row, also all on the road, from July 5-9. The club won a season-high nine straight from April 30-May 8.

Fourth-place Colorado (47-53) fell 6 1/2 games behind the Padres for the NL West lead with its second straight loss on Wednesday, 6-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rockies managed just one run and 13 hits in their last two games against the Cardinals—the only run coming on a solo homer by catcher Yorbit Torrealba—while going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Despite losing for the 10th time in 13 games and falling below .500 at home (23-24) on the season, Colorado manager Clint Hurdle is looking forward to facing the division leaders.

“It doesn’t come at a better time,” Hurdle said. “We’ll have a shot at playing the team that’s on top next. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Rockies send Josh Fogg (7-5, 4.25) to the mound for the series opener. The right-hander has posted quality starts in each of his last four outings to lower his ERA from 5.08 while posting a 2-0 record. He gave up three runs in six innings at Arizona on Saturday, but did not receive a decision in Colorado’s 4-3 defeat.

Fogg is 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA in four career starts versus San Diego.

The Rockies are 5-4 in the season series, although the Padres took two of three meetings at Coors Field April 17-19.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Williams Hou vs. J. Fogg Phi
12-5 Record 11-9
3.65 ERA 5.49
72 K 93
35 BB 60
1.29 WHIP 1.55