Entering August, the Colorado Rockies were the worst road team in baseball. They’ve changed that in a big way.
The Rockies look to win for the 11th time as visitors this month Saturday night when they continue their series against the last-place San Diego Padres.
The Rockies (64-72) are 10-3 on the road this month, posting the most away victories in baseball in that span. That impressive stretch has come after they were last in the majors with an 18-39 road mark.
Colorado’s success has also made it a factor in the NL West. It is third in the division, 1 1/2 games behind second-place Los Angeles and six back of first-place Arizona.
The Rockies maintained their pace in the division chase Friday by beating San Diego 5-4, while the Diamondbacks won 9-3 over the Dodgers in the opener of their three-game set.
“We have had confidence in each other all year,” Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins said. “We’ve been playing good baseball, it seems like, for the better part of three months. It’s frustrating we didn’t play better the first two months.”
Atkins has helped Colorado win five of its last six games overall, going 9-for-23 (.391) with two homers and seven RBIs in those victories. He hit two homers and added a season-high five RBIs to power Friday’s win, improving to 23-for-55 (.418) with three homers and 17 RBIs in 13 meetings with the Padres this year.
Atkins is 12-for-27 (.444) against Padres ace Jake Peavy (9-9, 2.84 ERA), Saturday’s scheduled starter.
The Rockies hope to continue their success against Peavy, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 4.99 ERA in his last eight starts against the Rockies, with the Padres going 1-7 in those games. He hasn’t posted a win against them at home since July 16, 2002, posting an 0-2 mark and 4.00 ERA in seven games since.
Peavy, though, is 5-4 with a major league-best 1.54 ERA in 12 home starts this season. Six of those outings, though, have led to losses for San Diego, as he’s received just three total runs of support despite posting a 2.25 ERA.
He yielded two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts in six innings while not getting a decision in a 4-2 home win over NL West-leading Arizona on Monday.
Peavy will now try to help San Diego rebound from Friday’s defeat, which halted a three-game winning streak.
The Rockies will counter with Ubaldo Jimenez (9-11, 3.95), who hopes to get some help after getting just one run of support in a 4-3, 12-inning win over Cincinnati on Sunday. The right-hander allowed three runs—two earned—and four hits with six strikeouts in six innings.
He’s 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA in five games against San Diego.