Rockies-Padres Preview


The San Diego Padres' Jeff Suppan managed to keep his emotions in check during his first big league start in 19 months.

The veteran right-hander might be a little more relaxed as he tries to follow up that superb outing with another win Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies, losers in a season-high four in a row.

Cory Luebke's trip to the disabled list opened the door for the 37-year-old Suppan's return to the majors. The 139-game winner spent all of 2011 in the minors and strained the triceps in his pitching arm in spring training this year.

Suppan, though, looked like he had never left as he gave up four hits and two walks to Milwaukee over five innings of a 5-0 win Wednesday.

"I had a lot of good nerves. My job was to take those emotions, the nerves and kind of organize them and get my butterflies to fly in formation and pitch a game," he said.

Suppan (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will seek another win against a Colorado team that's had a more difficult time scoring runs away from home. He's 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Rockies with the most recent one on Oct. 3, 2010.

That 6-1 win in St. Louis was his most recent start in the majors before Wednesday's game.

"When a guy keeps wanting to play and compete, and gets an opportunity to get back to the big leagues and win a major league game, it's wonderful. It's a great story," manager Bud Black said.

The Rockies (12-16) are averaging 3.1 runs in their 10 road games this season and have scored more than four in just one of those contests, a 5-3 win over Houston on April 6. At home, Colorado is averaging 6.5 runs and has scored five or more 13 times.

Starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz drove in one of the runs in Monday's 3-2 series-opening defeat on a solo homer and Carlos Gonzalez brought home another on an RBI single, one of the Rockies' five hits.

The Padres (10-20) used a pair of RBI singles from Yonder Alonso to help them snap a three-game skid.

"(Five hits) is not enough to win a game here," manager Jim Tracy said, "especially when you have two guys that have two hits each (Gonzalez and Marco Scutaro)."

Gonzalez was 2 for 4 after batting .429 (15 for 35) with five homers and 16 RBIs during a nine-game homestand. He has a home run and a triple in four career at-bats against Suppan.

The Rockies outfielder will try to continue that success while supporting Alex White during his season debut. The right-hander was recalled from the minors Tuesday morning.

White went 2-4 with an 8.42 ERA in seven starts for the Rockies last season after being acquired in a five-player deal that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland on July 31. He was 1-3 with a 2.92 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs this season.

"It's just a good opportunity," he told the team's website. "I want to pitch well and be able to finish strong."

White earned a win in his only start against San Diego on Sept. 3 at Petco Park, allowing four runs over five innings.