Colorado (47-38) has won eight of 10 to pull within three games of San Diego in the West. A sweep of the Padres would leave the teams tied entering the break.
Accomplishing that feat appears realistic. The Rockies are 6-3 this season against the Padres (50-35), and have won all three series between the teams, including April 9-11 at Coors.
Colorado current hot streak started by taking two of three at San Diego last week. After sweeping St. Louis, the Rockies now have a chance to match their longest winning stretch of the season.
Colorado has averaged 6.8 runs in its last 10 games, but pitching could prove the difference this weekend. Originally projected to front the rotation alongside Ubaldo Jimenez(notes), De La Rosa (3-1, 3.91 ERA) will come off the disabled list from a finger injury Friday to start for the first time since April 25.
“What it brings is a picture of what we really thought, really strongly, it was going to look like when we came out of Spring Training,” manager Jim Tracy told the Rockies’ official website.
De La Rosa, 19-4 over 26 starts prior to his injury, went 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA and struck out 15 in 14 2-3 innings during a rehab stint at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 5.30 ERA in seven career starts versus San Diego. The win came in his season debut April 9, when he allowed one hit and struck out nine in seven innings of a 7-0 home win.
The Padres have won four of six overall, but needed a 7-1 victory Thursday to avoid a sweep at Washington. Mat Latos(notes) threw seven strong innings to earn the win and hit one of the Padres’ four home runs.
Looking for his first victory since May 31, Kevin Correia(notes) (5-6, 5.05) takes the ball for the Padres. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his last six starts, but allowed five hits in seven innings of a 1-0 win over Houston on Saturday.
“I’ve just been waiting for a good result, and I knew it was coming,” Correia told the Padres’ official website. “I knew I had been putting in the work. I didn’t feel like my stuff was any worse.”
Correia is 1-4 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 starts against Colorado, including 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA this season.