Despite being the lowest-scoring team in the majors, the San Diego Padres have put up impressive numbers this month, aided the past week by matchups against two of the league's worst clubs.
The Padres look to win their fifth straight Saturday night when they continue their series against the visiting Colorado Rockies.
Through the end of June, San Diego (40-55) was averaging 3.4 runs, but it is 11-5 in July while scoring 4.7 runs per game. Over its last seven contests - a 6-1 stretch - it has scored seven or more runs five times.
Behind three home runs and 13 hits Friday, the Padres defeated Colorado 9-5. Carlos Quentin's three hits included a solo homer, while Yasmani Grandal drove in three runs with a two-run shot and a double.
"I think we're having some quality at-bats," said Quentin, who has six hits and two homers in his last 19 at-bats. "We're getting on base consistently throughout the lineup. Guys are causing havoc on the bases and having good at-bats."
A favorable stretch in the schedule has helped, with San Diego taking three of four from major league-worst Houston this week.
Colorado (35-57) has the league's second-worst record, having dropped 11 of 16. The Rockies have given up 24 runs during a three-game skid, with the majors' highest team ERA swelling to 5.31.
The club also lost catcher Wilin Rosario in the second inning Friday with a lower leg injury. He leads all NL rookies in home runs (15) and RBIs (39).
With a 2.61 ERA in his last six starts, Jeff Francis (2-2, 4.76 ERA) has been Colorado's most effective starter lately, and he'll try to stabilize things Saturday for the Rockies. Francis gave up one run and six hits while walking none in five innings of Colorado's 5-4 win over Pittsburgh on Monday.
The left-hander had his best start of the season June 29 against the Padres, giving up three hits in six scoreless innings during a 10-2 victory. He's still 6-13 in his career against San Diego, by far his most losses against any opponent.
Not many current Padres, though, have had success against Francis. Quentin is 3 for 18 while Chase Headley is 3 for 13 and Chris Denorfia 2 for 12.
San Diego will counter with Kip Wells (1-3, 2.82), who had his best outing in four starts this season July 1 against the Rockies, giving up six hits in seven innings of a 2-0 victory.
He has since lost back-to-back starts - both shutout defeats for the Padres - walking eight in 10 1-3 innings in that stretch. Five of those free passes came in 4 1-3 innings of Monday's 2-0 loss against Houston.
"I just didn't throw enough fastballs to find a rhythm for them," Wells said. "I felt, in looking back, I should have worked off my fastball more than I did."
The right-hander is 1-3 with a 5.53 ERA in seven career starts versus the Rockies.