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Apr 24, 2024 8:50 am

Rockies face Padres, look for 2024 first: back-to-back wins

tovar rockies

The Colorado Rockies have yet to win a series this season, but they have a chance to do so this week.

They also could win consecutive games for the first time in 2024 as they meet the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series in Denver.

Colorado’s offense broke out in Tuesday night’s 7-4 win over the Padres, snapping a six-game losing streak to San Diego. The Padres took the series opener 3-1 on Monday behind a strong outing from Dylan Cease, who allowed just one hit over seven innings.

The Padres will send right-hander Matt Waldron (0-2, 4.74 ERA) to the mound while the Rockies had not announced a starter as of Wednesday morning.

Tuesday was a rare win for Colorado, which had lost 10 of 12 entering the game. The Rockies lost a franchise-record 103 games last season. This year, they are on pace to lose 108.

Even with the struggles in the present, Colorado has started to lay the foundation for the future, and it is being built around 22-year-old shortstop Ezequiel Tovar.

Tovar signed a seven-year contract extension before this season. He has been moved to the top of the batting order from the No. 7 spot, hitting first or second, and the team is being patient as he becomes more seasoned.

“I would say it’s still a work in progress,” Rockies hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. “There are big strides that he has made from last year. Once he comprehends what he shouldn’t swing at, he’s going to get better pitches to hit.”

He had two hits Tuesday night from the second spot and is batting .312 this season.

Tovar and the Rockies will face Waldron for the first time. The 27-year-old right-hander started six times in his eight appearances last season for San Diego, his first in the majors, but he didn’t face Colorado. He hopes to bounce back from a rough start against Toronto on Friday night when he was tagged for five runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Waldron won’t have to deal with Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant, who is on the injured list with back tightness. Bryant is eligible to be activated Wednesday, but manager Bud Black said he hasn’t resumed baseball activities since going on the IL.

Colorado may also be without outfielder Nolan Jones, who left Tuesday’s game with a stiff back.

The Padres have hit the ball well in the first two games of the series despite not having Manny Machado available. Machado is on paternity leave and will miss Wednesday’s game as well but is expected back for the final game of the series on Thursday afternoon.

Even without Machado, San Diego has racked up hits in the first two games in Denver. The Padres had nine in Monday’s 3-1 win and 12 Tuesday, but just two after the fourth inning, shut down by three Rockies relievers.

“I saw some balls hit at people,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said, per the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I saw some pretty good pitching. Beyond that, I saw some really great at-bats to start the game. … Just middle of the game — heck, man they had some guys that pitched pretty well coming out of their bullpen. Give them credit.”

–Field Level Media

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