Rockies try to end struggles against Padres

( - The Colorado Rockies have cooled off recently and try to get back into the mix Friday in the opener of a three-game series versus the San Diego Padres at Coors Field.

The Rockies have lost five of six games, and were swept in a two-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. In Wednesday's 3-2 setback, Jhoulys Chacin pitched well but was dealt the loss for giving up all three runs in the second inning.

Chacin lasted six innings and fell to 0-2 on the season.

Colorado rallied in the seventh inning with a two-run homer by Drew Stubbs and Carlos Gonzalez ended with two hits in defeat.

"We've hit a little bump in the road here offensively," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "We have to go back home and get it going again."

Weiss's club has a good shot at getting over the bump with Jorge De La Rosa taking the mound and he has won four straight starts after opening the season 0-3 with a 7.58 ERA in his first four appearances.

De La Rosa has a 2.63 ERA during his unbeaten streak and the Rockies have posted 29 runs of support in that span as opposed to seven in the lefty's first four trips to the mound. He lost at San Diego on April 16 and gave up three runs -- two earned -- in six innings of a 4-2 setback.

In 20 career games (16 starts) against San Diego, De La Rosa has a strong 7-3 record to go along with a 4.80 ERA. He has won seven of his past eight decisions against the Padres.

Colorado will also host San Francisco on its six-game, seven-day homestand, and has a 13-5 record at Coors Field.

The Padres have won five of six games and took a three-game set from the Cincinnati Reds with Thursday's 6-1 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader from Great American Ball Park.

After losing the afternoon tilt by a 5-0 score and failing to produce anything off Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who hurled a three-hit shutout, San Diego's bats came alive thanks to home runs from Everth Cabrera, Rene Rivera and Yonder Alonso. Rivera's was a two-run shot in the second inning.

"I've been working hard and (hitting coach Phil) Plantier has also been doing a great job," Rivera said on the club's website. "I just wanted to put the ball on the bat and whatever happens, happens."

Tyson Ross earned his fifth win (5-3) by limiting the Reds to a run in seven innings with eight strikeouts and five walks.

Drawing the start for San Diego Friday will be Eric Stults. Stults has won two of his last three decisions and defeated Miami the last time out on Saturday in a 9-3 victory, as he gave up two runs in six innings. He improved to 2-3 in eight starts with a 5.03 ERA.

Stults faced Colorado in a 5-4 win on April 14 and did not factor in the outcome, as he was touched for four runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in five innings. The left-hander has made 12 appearances (8 starts) against the Rockies in his career and has a 3-0 mark with a 4.14 ERA.

San Diego and Colorado split a four-game set at Petco Park in mid-April.