Chris Young’s season fell into a downward spiral after he made his last visit to Coors Field. With the way he has dominated the Rockies throughout his career, Young hopes to start a turnaround in his return to Denver.
On July 24, Young (9-6, 2.63 ERA) reduced his ERA to a season-low and major league-leading 1.82 by retiring all six batters he faced, but left after straining an abdominal muscle on a second-inning pitch to Colorado’s Garrett Atkins in the Padres’ 5-3 win.
Young went on the 15-day disabled list after that outing, and he is 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA in his last five starts—all San Diego losses. He lost a second straight start to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, giving up five runs and four hits while striking out six in four innings of a 9-1 defeat.
“I felt better, a little better, still not where I need to be,” Young said. “I’m a little discouraged by that, but I can’t expect to miss too much time, the way my last month has been, and come back and be as sharp as I was before.”
Young has always been sharp against the Rockies (73-68), going 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in eight starts. He is 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in three outings against Colorado this season, including a current 13-inning scoreless streak, and conceded just one run in 15 innings.
Before suffering the injury there, Young had been dominant at Coors Field with a 3-0 record, 1.71 ERA and one homer allowed in 21 innings over four appearances.
Young, though, has allowed five of his eight homers this season in his last three starts.
The Padres (77-64) hope for another strong pitching performance after Greg Maddux provided six strong innings in their 3-1 win on Saturday, helping San Diego end a three-game slide and avoid matching its longest losing streak of the season. Khalil Greene, whose two hits included a ninth-inning RBI single, is batting .348 (49-for-141) with 12 homers in 36 games at Coors Field.
“I do see the ball here,” Greene said. “It’s a pretty spacious park in the gaps, which is where I tend to hit the ball.”
The two-time NL West-defending champion Padres remained two games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for the division lead and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the wild card.
“I’m glad we’re still in the hunt,” Maddux said. “It’s nice to be in a race when the games matter.”
The Rockies, who had won four of their previous five, trail the Padres by four games for the wild card and the Diamondbacks by six in the West.
Josh Fogg (8-9, 5.01) has provided two straight quality starts while opposing former Cy Young Award winners, and the Rockies hope extra rest will benefit the right-hander as he makes his first start since Sunday. Fogg gave up two runs, seven hits and three walks while fanning six in six innings to outpitch Brandon Webb for a 4-3 win at Arizona.
“My command was not great by any means,” Fogg told the Rockies’ official web site. “I struggled with the strike zone a little bit. But I was able to make some good pitches in the later part of the innings.”
Fogg is 2-2 with a 5.93 ERA in eight starts against San Diego, but he is 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts against the Padres at Coors Field.
Adrian Gonzalez is 15-for-45 over an 11-game hitting streak, and 4-for-13 against Fogg.
The teams will begin their final series against each other on Sept. 21 at Petco Park.