Andrew Werner has been a pleasant surprise for the San Diego Padres during his short time in the majors.
The rookie left-hander looks to continue the strong start to his career Sunday when the Padres try to win their fifth straight home series with a second consecutive victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Signed out of a major league tryout camp two years ago, Werner (2-1, 2.59 ERA) has been quite effective in the first four starts of his major league career. He's lasted at least six innings and allowed two runs or fewer in each of those outings since making his debut Aug. 22 for San Diego (70-76). He's also struck out 23 batters in 24 1-3 innings.
Werner allowed one run, three walks and fanned six in 6 1-3 innings of Monday's 8-2 win over Arizona, but was not entirely pleased.
"For whatever reason, I wasn't sharp, I had 60 pitches through three (innings) and I wasn't very efficient," he told the Padres' official website. "The last three (innings) were pretty good."
Werner hopes for a better overall performance Sunday when he makes his first appearance against the Rockies (58-86), who look to bounce back after the Padres evened this three-game set with a 4-3 win Saturday.
Jesus Guzman hit a three-run homer and rookie Casey Kelly took a shutout into the seventh inning as San Diego won for the 19th time in 24 games overall. The Padres have also won 22 of 29 at Petco Park, where they last lost a series July 17-19 to current NL West leader San Francisco.
Chase Headley had his 11-game hitting streak against the Rockies snapped Saturday with an 0-for-3 night. The veteran third baseman is batting .348 with four homers and 15 RBIs versus Colorado in 2012.
Headley is 0 for 5 with two strikeouts against scheduled Colorado starter Alex White (2-8, 5.18), who is 0-5 with a 4.89 ERA in 13 starts since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3. White, however, has allowed one run in four innings on manager Jim Tracy's limited pitch count in each of his last two starts.
The right-hander gave up a homer and six hits on 76 pitches during Monday's 6-5 win over San Francisco.
"I had pretty good command,'' said White, who also hit his first career home run. "I threw 76 pitches in four innings. But that's what they asked me to do, so I'm going to keep doing it.''
He is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA against the Padres this season.
Chris Nelson and Charlie Blackmon each went 2 for 4 with an RBI on Saturday for the Rockies, who have lost eight of 10.
Nelson is batting .519 (14 for 27) with two homers and eight RBIs in his last seven games following a seven-game stretch where he went 3 for 25 with nine strikeouts. The versatile infielder is 12 for 21 (.571) with seven RBIs in his last five contests at Petco.