Though it’s just one game, the Colorado Rockies have shown they plan to continue making it hard on teams coming into Coors Field.
The San Diego Padres found that out first-hand.
Having carried over their dominance at home into the new season, the Rockies on Saturday night will meet the Padres in the middle game of their weekend series.
Colorado opened its home slate with a 7-0 rout Friday as Jorge De La Rosa(notes) allowed one hit and struck out nine over seven innings. He failed to win in his first 10 outings last year, but found his groove in June and went on to set career highs with 16 victories and 193 strikeouts.
“His poise and his persona on the mound is all different,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “It’s a sign of growth.”
Since Sept. 4, the Rockies have gone 14-3 at Coors, but two of the losses came against San Diego, which finished 12 games below .500 and in fourth place in the NL West last year.
Slugger Adrian Gonzalez(notes) was hitless in four at-bats with three strikeouts Friday for San Diego. He was agitated after not being awarded first base on a pitch he felt grazed him in the opening inning. Gonzalez argued for several minutes with home plate umpire Mike DiMuro, before stepping back in and striking out.
“I’m not going to fake something,” said Gonzalez, who was 4 for 9 with two solo homers in his first two games, but has since gone 1 for 7 with no RBIs. He led the Padres with 40 homers, 99 RBIs and 153 hits in 2009.
Mat Latos(notes) will make his first start of the season and try to get the Padres back in the win column. He emerged as one of San Diego’s best pitchers during spring training, going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA. He had one start pushed back due to a sore right elbow, but is ready to go.
Last year, Latos was 4-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 10 starts before being shut down in early September to reduce wear on his arm. He had pitched a combined 123 innings between the majors and minor leagues, up from only 56 total innings in 2008.
The Padres also have said Latos won’t throw more than 150 innings this year. He lost to Colorado in his big league debut June 19, allowing two runs and three hits in four innings of a 6-1 defeat.
The right-hander was 10-8 with a 4.33 ERA in 34 games, including 30 starts, for the Rockies. However, he had no record and a 5.79 ERA in four starts against San Diego.