Rockies continue wild trip with series vs. Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The Colorado Rockies roll into San Diego for a four-game series with the Padres starting Thursday, their second soft spot in a six-game trip.

The first turnout in Colorado's West Coast excursion was a disaster, though.

The last-place San Francisco Giants swept both games and Colorado's hold on the second National League wild-card spot grows more tenuous by the day. The Rockies, who have lost three straight, lead Milwaukee by one game.

The Padres saw their three-game winning streak snapped Wednesday by Arizona, but they already had clinched the series with the Diamondbacks.

The Rockies know it's on them -- no matter the foe -- to show they are a playoff team.

"It was going to come down to the wire anyway," Colorado catcher Jonathan Lucroy told MLB.com. "We knew that. None of the teams behind us -- or even with us now -- are going to roll over. They're not going to let us run all over them. We're not going to stop trying. We have to worry about ourselves and what we can do."

The Rockies will trot out Tyler Anderson (5-5, 5.28 ERA), who was solid in defeating the Padres on Saturday -- the last time Colorado won a game.

The left-hander allowed two hits and a pair of walks and recorded three strikeouts over six innings. When the Padres did make contact, few of them came off the barrel with authority. Of the 16 balls the Padres put in play, one was hit hard.

Since returning from the disabled list Sept. 10, Anderson is 2-0 in 10 innings of scoreless ball. He's 1-0 with an 0.73 ERA in two lifetime starts against the Padres.

Clayton Richard (7-14, 4.82 ERA), who signed a two-year extension Wednesday, gets the nod for the Padres. Richard is 1-2 with a 9.98 ERA in three starts against the Rockies this year. That's the highest of any team the left-hander has faced this year.

Richard has split his last four decisions over his last six starts while pitching to a 3.63 ERA.

Richard, who leads the Padres with 185 innings pitched, is 4-6 with a 5.60 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) against the Rockies. He reflected on his year in which he resurrected his career as a starter.

"It's been interesting, I think," said Richard, who will earn $3 million in each of the next two seasons. "I think I've made pitches consistently enough to be successful and the end results haven't line up a lot of the times in how I've thrown the baseball.

"As a pitcher, all I can control is when the baseball leaves my hand. Once I let go, it is up to the batter. I know the numbers don't exactly line up with me saying I'm throwing well. But I think the Padres see that as well. I felt, for the most part, I have done pretty well."

Colorado, led by former Padres manager Bud Black, has won 10 of 15 against the Padres this year.