Seeking strong finish, Rockies eye sweep vs. Padres

Field Level Media

The Colorado Rockies have had a season to forget, but they have a chance to gain some much-needed momentum in their penultimate home series of the year.

Colorado has gone from postseason contenders to near the bottom of the NL since late June, and its play at home is a big reason. The Rockies are 38-36 at Coors Field this season, a place where they've dominated over the years.

They have seven games left in Denver to finish above .500 at home, including two series against a pair of teams fighting for the playoffs in the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers. Colorado has a chance to impact the October schedule but first is wrapping up a weekend series against the NL West rival San Diego Padres on Sunday.

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The Rockies won Saturday night, 11-10, and have taken the first two games of the series. Colorado has won four of its last five home games after dropping six straight at Coors Field, including getting swept in four games by Pittsburgh two weeks ago.

Chi Chi Gonzalez, coming off his first win since 2015, will take the mound for the Rockies, while the Padres will send struggling Cal Quantrill to the hill.

Gonzalez (1-6, 6.56 ERA) turned in one of his best games of the year when he beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Tuesday night. Gonzalez held the red-hot Cardinals to one run on four hits over six innings to get his first victory since Sept. 22, 2015.

"There was a lot of emotion," González said of getting the win. "I'm just thankful to be out here, to be with this group of guys. It's a great clubhouse."

Gonzalez has faced the Padres once in his career, last month in San Diego. He allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings but got a no-decision in an 8-5 Colorado loss on Aug. 10.

Quantrill, a rookie, has made two starts against the Rockies this season and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA over 12 innings of work.

Quantrill (6-7, 5.12) split time between starting and the bullpen before moving to the rotation full time in early July. He solidified his standing by allowing just eight earned runs in five starts, including seven shutout innings against Colorado on Aug. 9.

He has struggled in his last three starts, however, giving up eight runs in each, the first San Diego pitcher to do that since Andy Benes in 1993. He is 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA in two September starts heading into Sunday's game against the Rockies.

In his last start, Monday against the Chicago Cubs, Quantrill tied a career high with 10 hits allowed and left after 4 1/3 innings.

"It's not good enough," he told reporters after the game. "I guess I could go with some clichés, but honestly I'm just not pitching very well right now. I'm not giving my team a chance to win. There's no one more frustrated than me."

--Field Level Media

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