Shutouts are nothing new for the San Diego Padres. A productive offense, however, is something they may not be accustomed to.
The Padres look to match a season-high six-game home win streak Wednesday night when they continue a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies.
Rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff homered and hit a two-run single during a six-run second inning, and Greg Maddux earned his 341st career victory as San Diego coasted to an 8-0 rout in Tuesday’s series opener.
Morgan Ensberg also homered for the Padres (64-54), who have won three of four to pull within two games of NL West-leading Arizona, which lost 14-5 at Florida.
Colorado’s Jeff Francis walked six batters, five in the second inning.
“We had a lot of good walks, to be honest with you,” Maddux said. “We hit the ball out of the park a little bit, but I thought some of the best at-bats were the guys who walked. Got on base for the next guy. I thought that was pretty impressive, too.”
San Diego has three one-run wins and two shutouts by a combined 19-0 score during the five-game home streak.
Maddux and three relievers combined for San Diego’s major league-leading 17th shutout.
Since managing one total run in back-to-back losses at St. Louis, the Padres have scored 33 runs in their last four games. Their 515 runs this season are among the fewest in the majors and they began Tuesday batting a major league-low .244, but have hit .281 (42-for-149) with 10 homers in the past four contests.
Brian Giles has led the way lately for the Padres, going 7-for-17 with four homers and seven RBIs in that four-game span. Kouzmanoff is 6-for-13 with two home runs and six RBIs.
Colorado (61-57) began a stretch of 16 straight days of games with its third straight road loss.
The Rockies, who remained five games behind the Diamondbacks in the West, have lost eight of their last nine at Petco Park.
San Diego’s Chris Young (9-4, 2.02 ERA) makes his second start since coming off the disabled list. The right-hander pitched well in a 5-0 loss at St. Louis on Thursday before the Cardinals knocked him out in a four-run seventh. In six-plus innings, he allowed four runs and three hits with five strikeouts and five walks, raising his major league-leading ERA 20 points.
“I was a little rusty, but no problem,” said Young, who missed two weeks with a strained left side muscle. “I didn’t feel like I pitched that poorly. It wasn’t my best, it wasn’t my worst.”
He had been 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his previous 11 starts since his last loss, also against the Cardinals on May 12.
Young suffered the injury versus the Rockies on July 24 and had to leave the game after throwing two perfect innings. He won his only other start against them this season, striking out seven in seven innings of an 11-1 victory on April 20. He’s 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA in seven career starts against them.
Colorado’s Garrett Atkins is only 3-for-17 (.176) against Young, but two of those hits are home runs.
The Rockies counter with struggling Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 6.57). The rookie right-hander had his worst start of the season Thursday in a 10-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs, yielding nine runs - five earned - and nine hits in two-plus innings. He lasted only 4 2-3 innings in his previous start, giving up six runs and six hits with five walks in a 6-4 loss to Atlanta on Aug. 4.
Jimenez was sharp in his team’s 5-3 loss to the Padres at Coors Field on July 24, limiting them to three runs and four hits in seven innings without getting a decision.
Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras aggravated a quad injury Tuesday and will placed on the disabled list. He’s batting .311 with a team-high 29 steals.