Padres take on Rockies, look to snap five-game skid

Field Level Media

Colorado Rockies right-hander Jeff Hoffman posted some impressive stats in his past two starts, road games against the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets.

His 14 strikeouts and only three walks combined in the starts were overshadowed, however, by the three home runs that doomed him and the Rockies.

He gets a chance at redemption when he faces a team he has fared well against in his short career. Hoffman (1-3, 8.06 ERA) will start Friday as Colorado hosts the San Diego Padres in the second of a four-game series between the NL West Division rivals.

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Charlie Blackmon hit two home runs and Trevor Story also homered in Colorado's 9-6 win Thursday night. The Padres got to starter Jon Gray early for two runs in the first inning, but the right-hander struck out 10 to improve to 10-3 in his career against San Diego.

The Rockies were happy third baseman Nolan Arenado didn't have any ill-effects from getting hit on the left forearm in Wednesday's game. Arenado was in the lineup after leaving the loss to the Chicago Cubs and said before the game he was fine.

He finished 1-for-4 Thursday night.

The Padres will counter with rookie right-hander Cal Quantrill (1-2, 4.85). Quantrill is making his sixth major league start and the first against the Rockies. It will be his first appearance against a division opponent.

Hoffman has been in the rotation since lefty Tyler Anderson went on the injured list last month, and he's been able to stay there with the struggles of last year's ace, Kyle Freeland. Despite the misfortune of his teammates, Hoffman needs to pitch better to stay in the rotation.

He struggled in a 6-1 loss to the Mets on Sunday, giving up a three-run homer to Todd Frazier in the first inning and never finding his groove. He surrendered six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"Jeff showed, at times, a very good breaking ball," Colorado manager Bud Black said after the game. "But Jeff got beat (throwing) the fastball a number of times. The first-inning backbreaker was the 2-0 fastball to Frazier."

Going against San Diego might be the momentum changer Hoffman needs. He is 1-1 with an 0.77 ERA in four career appearances against the Padres, two of them starts.

Quantrill is another of San Diego's talented young players who are learning on the job, and the Padres are being patient with them despite falling below .500 after losing five straight. Errors in San Francisco on Wednesday night from two rookies -- shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and outfielder Josh Naylor -- and veteran pitcher Robbie Erlin contributed to a 4-2 loss.

"Definitely stuff we have to learn from," first baseman Eric Hosmer said after the game. "When you have young guys you want to try to turn down a little bit, that's what you want instead of trying to fire them up. That's stuff you have to learn as young player, stuff you learn the hard way, that you won't do again."

--Field Level Media

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