Ubaldo Jimenez’s(notes) most recent start was reminiscent of his stellar 2010 season. The slumping and offensively challenged Colorado Rockies may need a similar outing if they’re to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three weeks.
Colorado visits the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night as the NL West rivals continue a three-game set.
Jimenez (1-5, 4.98 ERA) has struggled to find the dominating form from his 19-win campaign, going the first two months of 2011 without a victory. The right-hander ended his slump Wednesday in a 3-0 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching a four-hitter while striking out a season high-tying seven and not walking a hitter for the first time in 10 starts.
“I saw a couple things and I said, `This is what I’m going to work on,”’ Jimenez said after his performance. “I been working really hard. It’s not like it came one day.”
However, the Rockies (28-31) haven’t offered their pitching staff much run support of late. The offense has scored three runs or fewer in the last eight games, though it provided enough Monday for a 3-0 victory against the Padres.
The Colorado bullpen pitched three effective innings after Clayton Mortensen(notes) threw six of his own. Rockies starters have given up only five runs in 34 innings over the last five games, while relievers have allowed four in 19 1-3 innings over the last seven.
“A great pitching performance by our entire staff,” manager Jim Tracy said of Monday’s victory.
Colorado last won consecutive games May 16 and 17. Given Jimenez’s recent success against San Diego, the Rockies may not have to wait much longer to duplicate the feat.
Jimenez has won five straight starts against the Padres with a 3.27 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 33 innings during that span. His last loss to San Diego was Aug. 30, 2008.
The Padres (27-34) had won seven of nine prior to Monday’s defeat and were shut out for a major league-high 10th time this season, but only their second since May 7. The loss also ended San Diego’s three-game home winning streak and dropped them to 12-22 at Petco Park.
The Padres have dropped eight of the last 10 meetings at home against Colorado and left 11 runners on base Monday.
“We had some base runners but we just couldn’t break through,” manager Bud Black said. “We couldn’t get that big hit.”
Tim Stauffer(notes) (1-4, 3.99) takes the mound looking to get the Padres rolling again, though he’s coming off a rough outing Thursday. The right-hander allowed seven runs - five earned - in five innings, falling 7-4 to Houston.
Stauffer hasn’t started against the Rockies since Sept. 23, 2009, when he allowed two runs in 4 2-3 innings while not earning a decision. He’s made four relief appearances against Colorado since, yielding three runs in 7 1-3 innings.
Stauffer’s lone win in three career starts against the Rockies came July 8, 2005.