San Diego (81-62) at Colorado (79-65)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 30° F
  • Game info: 8:40 pm EDT Tue Sep 14, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Diego Padres haven’t been playing their best baseball lately, but they still control their playoff fate. The Colorado Rockies have been trying to reach that position.

The NL West-leading Padres look for another victory at Coors Field on Tuesday night when the Rockies try to rebound from their first loss in nearly two weeks.

Despite dropping 13 of 18, San Diego (81-62) owns a one-half game lead over San Francisco in the division race. The Padres moved back into sole possession of the top spot in the West with a 6-4 victory Monday that ended the Rockies’ 10-game winning streak - the third-longest in team history. Miguel Tejada(notes) went 3 for 4 with a homer and season high-tying four RBIs as the Padres moved 2 1/2 in front of Colorado (79-65).

“Those guys have been playing the best in baseball,” Tejada said.

The Padres, though, handed Colorado its first home loss in eight games and will go for their first series win in Denver since Sept. 22-24.

“We’ve made a mad dash back,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. “We have to bounce back.”

Jon Garland(notes) (13-11, 3.52 ERA) will try to prevent that from happening as he tries to avoid a fourth straight loss. The Padres veteran right-hander matched a season high by yielding six runs and eight hits in Thursday’s 7-3 loss to San Francisco. Garland also allowed a season high-tying three home runs during his five-inning outing.

“Terrible, terrible, especially to start a series,” he said. “I guarantee you no person in San Diego feels worse than I do and I get to go home and sleep on it. It’s going to be a fun night.”

Garland is 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in two starts against Colorado this season. In a 6-2 loss to the visiting Rockies on Sept. 4, Garland walked three and surrendered seven hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Jason Hammel(notes) (10-7, 4.34), who threw 6 2-3 innings of two-run ball in that game to improve to 3-0 against the Padres this season, gets the ball Tuesday. The right-hander will go for a career high in victories after surrendering five runs and eight hits Thursday in a 6-5 win over Cincinnati. Hammel allowed three hits in the final five innings after giving up five runs in the first two frames.

“After that second, I just got to dig deep and battle and find a way to get deep in the game,” he said. “I’m proud of it.”

The Rockies have won Hammel’s last five starts.

Reigning NL player of the week Troy Tulowitzki(notes) hit a three-run homer Monday and is batting .375 with nine homers and 20 RBIs in the last 12 games. He is 3 for 11 with two doubles against Garland.

Carlos Gonzalez(notes), who leads the NL in batting (.337) and is among the league’s best in homers (32) and RBIs (101), is 9 for 15 with six doubles versus the Padres starter.

San Diego will try to win three in a row at Colorado for the first time in two seasons. The Rockies haven’t lost a three-game series at Coors Field since July 27-29 against Pittsburgh.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Garland Col vs. J. Hammel ChC
14-12 Record 10-9
3.47 ERA 4.81
136 K 141
87 BB 47
1.32 WHIP 1.40

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Sep 14