(SportsNetwork.com) - National League West Division rivals collide Monday night at Petco Park, as the San Diego Padres host the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a four-game set.
Colorado leads the National League in team batting average (.299), slugging average (.468) and runs scored (70). However, the pitching has been a concern, and that was once again the case Sunday at San Francisco as the Rockies dropped a 5-4 decision in 10 innings to lose the series.
Justin Morneau and Wilin Rosario both went deep, but lefty reliever Rex Brothers served up the deciding homer to Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the 10th.
Meanwhile, the Padres have won three of their last four and are coming off a series victory over the Detroit Tigers. San Diego's pitching held Detroit's potent lineup to a .191 average (19-for-99) during the series.
In Sunday's 5-1 triumph, Jedd Gyorko and Xavier Nady delivered solo home runs. Will Venable added a two-run double in support of winning pitcher Tyson Ross, who yielded only one run in seven innings.
"The pitching has done a tremendous job, and now it's our turn on the offensive side to get some guys going," Nady said. "Hopefully (we can) get some runs early and get big hits and start playing well."
Toeing the rubber for the Padres in Monday's series opener is southpaw Eric Stults, who tossed a complete game against the Rockies last July. In his previous start, Stults went 5 2/3 innings against Cleveland and allowed only one earned run. He also got nine ground-ball outs.
Colorado will turn to right-hander Jordan Lyles, who is seeking his third win in three starts to begin the season. He took the hill against the Chicago White Sox last Monday and gave up just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings, marking one of the better efforts turned in by what has been a shaky Rockies starting rotation to this point.
However, Lyles has posted an 8.10 ERA in two career starts at Petco Park.
"I threw my second start of my career (in San Diego)," Lyles said. "I was a little wild. I put some guys on base. The next one, I just got hit around.
"But I like the park. I don't think anything works better than anything else. It's just that the ball doesn't travel well out there. We've got four games out there, and we want to make some games go our way. It's just winning series. If you do that, the wins and losses will be where you want them to be."
Colorado went 12-7 versus San Diego last season.