Matt Kemp and the Colorado Rockies return to the diamond on Friday when they host the San Diego Padres in the opener of a four-game series between the National League West rivals.
Kemp chose to sit out Wednesday’s victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks to protest police brutality after Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. One day later, the entire Rockies’ club sat out the finale of the four-game set.
“I’ve been very impressed the last few days with their commitment to our team, solidarity and knowing what’s going on around our country,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of his players after Thursday’s postponement.
The Rockies notched three straight one-run victories in the series with Arizona before passing on the opportunity of recording a four-game sweep.
That was fine with shortstop Trevor Story, who indicated that players being involved in social issues in necessary in this age.
“A lot of times, that gets lost,” Story said after the postponement. “We are all more than athletes. We have feelings. We have families. We have thoughts of our own. What you do doesn’t define who you are. We’re all our own person.
“We all act differently. We all think a little differently. I guess as a fan — because I’m a fan, myself — you kind of lose perspective.”
The Padres were involved in a boycott of Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, and that led to a doubleheader in which the club split on Thursday. Manny Machado hit three homers in the twin bill.
San Diego’s 10-7 win in the opener came in historic fashion.
The Padres trailed by four runs with two out and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh inning. Eric Hosmer eventually singled in the tying run, and two batters later, Wil Myers slugged a game-winning three-run homer.
“Just all-around offensively that last inning was really cool,” Myers told reporters. “We never gave up. Down to our last out and we come around and do that. It was really cool all the way around with the win.”
The seven-run walk-off inning was the biggest in franchise history, according to the club.
That contest also featured a mammoth homer by Fernando Tatis Jr. that landed on the roof of the Western Metal Supply Co. building beyond the left-field fence. Tatis joined former San Diego outfielder Hunter Renfroe (twice) as players to clear the famous barrier.
The blast was Tatis’ major league-leading 13th of the season.
Despite an 8-3 loss in Game 2, the Padres have won eight of their past 10 games.
“This is a ton of fun. We’ve got a great team,” Myers said. “We’ve got a lot of great players here, and everybody’s doing something, everybody’s contributing to help the team win.”
Right-hander Zach Davies (4-2, 3.03 ERA) will be looking to help the winning ways continue when he takes the mound on Friday. Davies has a superb 0.84 WHIP while holding opponents to a .183 average.
The 27-year-old Davies put forth a strong effort last Saturday when he defeated the Houston Astros. Davies gave up two runs and four hits and struck out a season-high seven over eight innings.
Davies has allowed three runs or fewer in all six of his starts. One of his defeats came against the Rockies, when he allowed three runs and four hits over five innings on Aug. 2.
Davies is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five career starts versus Colorado. He has enjoyed success against Nolan Arenado (2-for-12, one homer) and Story (1-for-8).
Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.87 ERA) will oppose Davies.
Freeland has gone at least six innings in all six of his starts this season. Most recently, he took a no-decision when he allowed three runs and four hits over six innings in an eventual 4-3 loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
In 10 career appearances against the Padres, eight of them starts, Freeland is 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA. The last of those appearances was a start on Aug. 1 in Coors Field.
Freeland again went six innings, shutting out the Padres on two hits and four strikeouts on his way to a victory. He hasn’t won a game since.
Against Freeland, Myers is 4-for-16, Machado 3-for-14 and Hosmer 1-for-10.
–Field Level Media