The NL home run race has two Colorado Rockies leading the way with little fanfare since their headed for another finish at the bottom of the West.
While Carlos Gonzalez attempts to shake out of his funk, Nolan Arenado looks to continue his torrid hitting as the Rockies face the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.
Colorado (57-81) is on track to finish in the division cellar for the third time in four years, but Arenado and Gonzalez continue to be among the few bright spots.
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Arenado's career-high 37 homers lead the league, while Gonzalez's personal-best 36 rank second.
Arenado has pulled ahead by hitting seven home runs in nine games this month, adding a .444 average and 12 RBIs. That's still not changed the Rockies' downward trajectory since they've lost five of those games.
Gonzalez hasn't helped. He's 1 for 10 in four games after going 7 for 13 with five homers and 12 RBIs during a three-game winning streak.
Arenado's latest homer came in the ninth Tuesday before Jose Reyes' throw home in the bottom of the inning wasn't in time to catch Corey Spangenberg in a 2-1 defeat at San Diego (66-73).
Chris Rusin (5-7, 4.78 ERA) five-hit the Padres in a 5-0 home win for his first career complete game Aug. 16. The left-hander, however, followed that by giving up 14 runs in eight innings while losing his next two outings.
He bounced back by going the distance again Thursday, tossing a six-hitter in an 11-3 win over San Francisco.
"Chris has done a great job for us, and he's taken full advantage of the opportunity that he's gotten this year," manager Walt Weiss told MLB's official website. "He's got a great feel for pitching. He messes with hitters' timing by changing his delivery. He's just got a real good feel for getting outs. He commanded the ball really well."
Rusin, though, is 0-5 with a 6.05 ERA over his last seven starts on the road. This is his first in San Diego since going 6 1-3 scoreless innings with the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 25, 2013.
The Padres are turning to James Shields (10-6, 3.83), who is 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA in his last five starts at Petco Park.
The right-hander struggled through 107 pitches in five innings Friday. He surrendered three runs and two homers while walking a career-high six and left without a decision in an 8-4 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I don't think he was missing by much," manager Pat Murphy told MLB's official website. "I think that he certainly made big pitches and gave us a chance, but we were hoping he wasn't that deep in his pitch count in the fifth."
Shields is 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA in his past five starts against the Rockies. He's struggled greatly with Arenado and Gonzalez. Arenado is 8 for 14 with three homers off him and Gonzalez is 7 for 16 with a pair of home runs.