Pomeranz hopes to pick up a victory as Rockies battle Padres

Drew Pomeranz takes aim at his first victory in 12 starts on Saturday when the Colorado Rockies continue a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.

Often limited by Colorado's 75-pitch limit for its starters after using a four-man rotation for a bulk of the season, Pomeranz hasn't won since July 6, having lost five decisions over 11 starts since.

The 23-year-old southpaw has pitched well so far in September, taking a pair of no-decisions. After throwing three scoreless frames at the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 4, Pomeranz yielded a run on four hits in four innings at the Philadelphia Phillies last Sunday. The Rockies, though, dropped a 7-4 decision.

Pomeranz, who is 1-8 with a 4.80 earned run average in 18 starts this season, has yet to beat the Padres during his brief career. He is 0-3 against them with a 7.50 ERA in three matchups, including a July 20 meeting in which he was tagged for seven runs over three innings. He yielded home runs to Yasmani Grandal and Carlos Quentin.

San Diego starts a young hurler of its own tonight in Casey Kelly, who makes the fourth start of his career.

The 22-year-old righty won his MLB debut on Aug. 27, but has allowed 13 runs -- 11 earned -- over eight innings in his last two starts.

Kelly faced the Rockies on Sept. 2 and got a no-decision, getting charged with seven runs -- five earned -- over 5 2/3 innings. He then took a loss versus the Arizona Diamondbacks last Saturday after allowing six runs on eight hits and three homers in 2 1/3 innings of work.

That gave him a 7.07 ERA on the season.

The Padres will try to even this series after the Rockies claimed Friday's opener 7-4 behind a five-run first inning.

"It's rare that you come into Petco Park and throw five runs up there on six hits in the top of the first inning. You don't see that happen too often," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

Chris Nelson had three hits, including a solo homer, while Wilin Rosario and Jordan Pacheco both hit two-run doubles. Charlie Blackmon added a solo homer and Carlos Gonzalez had four hits for the Rockies, who had lost seven of eight heading in.

Yonder Alonso got his club back to within a run after hitting his first career grand slam in the first inning, but the Padres saw their four-game winning streak snapped.

Andrew Cashner took the loss after yielding six runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings.

"He wasn't really hitting his spots," Padres manager Bud Black said about Cashner. "They kept putting the ball in play, granted they didn't hit it hard, but they hit it in the right spots."

San Diego and Colorado have now split 16 meetings so far this season.