Padres-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

The Colorado Rockies were riding their longest winning streak of the season on the first day of June.

Christian Friedrich could help Colorado end the month on a positive note, but the rookie left-hander needs to improve what's been a rocky personal stretch.

Friedrich will try to snap a four-start losing streak Saturday night when the Rockies and San Diego Padres continue their series in Denver.

After Marco Scutaro's run-scoring single gave them an 11-10, 11-inning victory over Washington on Thursday, the Rockies (30-46) opened this NL West series with their third consecutive home win over San Diego, 10-2 on Friday.

Colorado hadn't won two in a row since June 4, when Friedrich (4-5, 5.86 ERA) went seven strong innings in a 4-0 victory at Arizona.

That was the last win by a Rockies starter before Jeff Francis' 82-pitch performance Friday.

"I hope a lot of our young people are paying close attention as to what you can do with 75 or 80 pitches if you do it correctly,'' manager Jim Tracy said of the pitch limit his starters have faced since they've gone to a four-man rotation.

Friedrich did plenty right in his major league debut, fanning seven in six innings of a 6-2 victory at San Diego on May 9 that helped the Rockies end a five-game skid and salvage the finale of that three-game series.

While Friedrich will try to help the Rockies win three in a row for the first time since a season-best five-game stretch May 28-June 1, the Padres (28-50) will look to bounce back with Edinson Volquez (4-7, 3.82) on the mound

The right-hander enjoyed one of his strongest outings of the season in a 2-0 win over Seattle on Sunday when he allowed four singles in 6 2-3 innings.

Volquez was 1-5 with a 5.72 ERA in his previous seven starts.

"I think he had his secondary pitches today," manager Bud Black told the Padres' official website. "All three pitches were working, he was locating the fastball ... he threw the ball great."

However, the right-hander has surrendered at least three free passes in each of his last eight starts and his 5.15 walks per nine innings is the second-worst ratio in the majors.

Giving Carlos Gonzalez a free pass might not be the worst idea the way the 2010 NL batting champ is swinging the bat. The left fielder extended his hitting streak to eight Friday with a two-run triple.

Gonzalez is batting .455 (35 for 77) with seven homers and 20 RBIs during an 18-game hitting streak in Denver.

Colorado has scored 48 runs and is batting .344 in its last seven games.

The Padres are hitting an NL-low .231. That's not a surprise to Volquez, who has the second-lowest run-support average in the league at 2.48.

The Rockies, who are 13 games behind West-leading San Francisco, have lost two games to last-place San Diego in the standings this month.

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