Rockies begin road trip in San Diego

The Colorado Rockies will begin their nine-game western road trip Friday with the first of three straight games against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

The Rockies will also visit San Francisco and Arizona on this trip and have won six of their last 10 games, including Wednesday's 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Todd Helton homered, Josh Rutledge finished with three hits and three runs scored and both Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer added two RBI.

Jorge De La Rosa picked up the win by allowing two runs in six innings. He has been battling a thumb issue this season.

"It's pretty amazing, missing a year and a half, coming back and pitching like he has," Rockies manager Walt Weiss told the club's website. "His thumb always hurts. It's just to what degree. But he did a great job."

Juan Nicasio draws the start for the Rockies Friday and is 8-7 with a 4.82 earned run average in 26 starts. Nicasio is 2-3 in his last five decisions and 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA in four career starts against San Diego.

Nicasio allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings of last Saturday's 8-3 loss to Cincinnati.

The Padres were aiming for a three-game sweep of the Giants, but dropped a 13-5 decision in Wednesday's series finale.

Eric Stults was belted for seven runs and nine hits (3 homers) across 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.

"He still feels physically good," said Padres manager Bud Black about his starter. "He'll probably be the first to tell you, he's not making pitches. He's not showing any signs physically of being weary."

Chase Headley and Ronny Cedeno both homered for the Padres, losers in six of their last nine games.

Burch Smith gets the nod for the Padres Friday and he is 0-1 with an 11.37 ERA in six games (3 starts). The right-hander will face the Rockies for the first time and hasn't pitched since July 4 at Boston.

The Rockies are 12-4 against the Padres this season.