Rockies bid for seventh win vs. Padres this season

The Colorado Rockies have struggled to stay in the hunt for one of the National League wild-card spots, but they would be in the thick of the race if they played San Diego more often.

Colorado has been a thorn in the Padres’ side this season, taking six of the nine meetings, including Tuesday night’s 5-3 win in Denver. The host Rockies will go for their seventh win against the NL West rivals when the teams meet for the third contest of a four-game set Wednesday night.

Colorado will send Chad Kuhl (6-5, 4.02 ERA) against San Diego’s Joe Musgrove (8-2, 2.09) in a matchup of right-handers.

Kuhl will be looking to bounce back from his first start against the Padres this season. Kuhl was chased after giving up five runs on eight hits and walking four in 4 1/3 innings in San Diego on June 10.

Overall, he is 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA in five career starts against the Padres.

The Rockies pulled off Tuesday’s win despite not having two of their best hitters in the lineup. Kris Bryant has been put on paternity leave and C.J. Cron, the team’s NL All-Star representative, missed his third game in the last four with a bruised left wrist. He sustained the injury when he was hit by a pitch in Arizona on Friday night.

Cron sat out games on Saturday and Sunday but gave it a go in Monday’s opener against San Diego and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He was held out Tuesday to give his wrist more time to heal.

“My swing felt a little compromised with the wrist. I could tolerate the pain, so pain is not an issue,” Cron said. “It was just the swing part of it. I wasn’t able to do what I would normally do.”

Musgrove will make his seventh career start against Colorado. He is 4-2 with a 1.21 ERA in his previous six and has been solid pitching in Denver, where he is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA.

San Diego is looking for a bounce back of its own after Tuesday’s loss. The Padres outhit the Rockies 10-6 but errors and two runners getting thrown out at third to squelch a rally in the eighth inning did them in.

“Responsibility’s on me,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We can’t play that sloppy, and we did (Tuesday) night. It cost us the game.”

Melvin will likely not have reliever Nick Martinez available for Wednesday’s game. Martinez came on for starter Mike Clevinger in the sixth but left the game in the seventh after getting hit in the leg with a sharp grounder by Charlie Blackmon.

Melvin said after the game Martinez suffered a minor ankle sprain when he landed trying to avoid getting hit by the liner.

The Rockies are also dealing with an injury in the bullpen. Alex Colome left the game after getting two outs in the eighth inning when he felt his right hamstring cramping. Colorado manager Bud Black said the team will know more about Colome’s status Wednesday.

–Field Level Media