Padres hope to salvage series finale at Colorado

MLB

The San Diego Padres have struggled to score runs of late, but they are still seven games above .500 thanks to some solid pitching.

Yu Darvish gave them a chance to win Tuesday night, but San Diego didn’t take advantage. Now Blake Snell will try to salvage the finale when the Padres wrap up a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday afternoon in Denver.

Snell (2-3, 4.97 ERA) will take the mound against Colorado’s Kyle Freeland (0-2, 9.00) in the getaway game.

San Diego’s offense the past 10 days has given the pitchers a small margin of error with which to work. After an 8-4 loss to the Rockies on Tuesday, the Padres are 2-8 in their past 10 games, having scored a total of 13 runs in the eight losses.

Their runs Tuesday all came in the first two innings, but they were shut out over the final seven while blowing a 4-0 lead.

“When you go through 162 games, you’re going to have a stretch of a week or maybe even a month of not feeling what you need to feel at the plate,” San Diego outfielder Wil Myers said after the Padres lost 3-2 to the Rockies on Monday. “Those are the times you just grind.”

It helps to rely on a Cy Young Award winner such as Snell. Although his numbers aren’t up to the standard he has set in his career, he has pitched well against Colorado. In four career starts against the Rockies, Snell is 2-0 with a minuscule 1.17 ERA.

He hasn’t been bothered by Coors Field, either, going 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his two starts in Denver. He has faced Colorado twice this year, once on the road, and has not factored into the decision in either start. Snell allowed a total of three runs in 10 innings while fanning 18 in those outings.

Freeland is looking for his first win of the season after beginning the year on the injured list due to a left shoulder strain. He had one of the worst outings of his career in his last start, allowing a career-high nine runs — eight earned — on eight hits, including a franchise-record-tying five home runs.

“Right now, I’m just not hitting spots,” Freeland said after the 11-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night. “That’s what it’s coming down to. It’s in the zone, up in the zone, bad pitches, stuff backing up, completely missing spots. When it’s supposed to be down and away, when it’s supposed to be up and in, it’s just not there.”

Freeland has yet to pitch beyond the fifth inning this season, and in three of his starts he has lasted just four innings. After not giving up a home run in his first two starts, he has allowed seven in his past nine innings.

Wednesday will be his first start this season against San Diego. The lefty has had success against the NL West Division rival, going 3-3 with a 3.58 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) against the Padres. In five career starts at home against San Diego, he is 2-1 with a 3.56 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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