San Diego tries to avoid its longest losing streak in three years Saturday when it continues a three-game series against the defending NL champions.
The Padres (12-24), who have the worst record in the majors, have lost five straight, including a 4-2 loss to the Rockies (15-21) on Friday. The win was Colorado’s third straight - one shy of its longest winning streak of the season, set from April 16-19.
For the Padres to avoid losing six straight for the first time since an eight-game slide from July 17-26, 2005, they’ll need Maddux (2-3, 4.09 ERA) to snap out of his own slump.
Maddux is making his fifth attempt at career victory No. 350. Since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 13, Maddux has gone 0-3, losing on the road to Arizona, Philadelphia and Florida. He also failed to receive a decision in a home start against San Francisco during that stretch despite working seven scoreless innings.
The right-hander pitched 5 2-3 innings on Sunday against the Marlins, allowing five runs - four earned - and 11 hits in a 10-3 loss. Maddux is trying to become the ninth member of the 350-win club.
“I would love for him to get 350, then 351, 352,” San Diego manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official Web site. “To Greg, it’s just a number. He doesn’t play this game for milestones. He plays it because he loves to play.”
Maddux, who is 14-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 27 starts against the Rockies, probably hasn’t had much fun lately. With Friday’s loss, the Padres fell to 6-10 at home this season. They are averaging 2.8 runs per game at Petco Park, and managed just four hits on Friday.
The Rockies, meanwhile, have reason to feel better about themselves. After averaging 4.1 runs in their first 28 games, they’ve averaged 5.9 in the last eight. They have compiled a 2.67 ERA over the last three games, with the starters responsible for two wins.
On Friday, Aaron Cook allowed one run and three hits over seven innings to win his sixth straight start.
“We are starting to do things like we were earlier in the season,” left fielder Matt Holliday said. “To do them against a guy like (Padres starter Jake) Peavy is big. Then when you get a game like that from Aaron, it all adds up to a big win.”
Holliday is hitting .462 (12-for-26) with two doubles, two homers and 10 runs scored in the last seven games.
Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 5.82) takes the mound for the Rockies, looking for his first win in five starts. The right-hander is 0-1 during that stretch, and Colorado has lost all five of those games, including Monday against St. Louis, when he allowed four runs - three earned - and seven hits in five innings of a 6-5 defeat.
Jimenez is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA in three career starts against the Padres. He allowed six runs - only two earned - and six hits in 4 2-3 innings against them on April 15 in a 6-0 loss.