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Apr 25, 2024 7:38 am

Rockies turn to winless Dakota Hudson in finale vs. Padres

Dakota Hudson

Dakota Hudson earned the final spot in the Colorado Rockies’ rotation to start the season. The right-hander still is looking for his first victory with Colorado, however.

Hudson (0-4, 5.06 ERA) will bid for that elusive first win when the Rockies wrap up a four-game series against the San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon.

San Diego will send right-hander Randy Vasquez (0-1, 1.80) to the mound to try to leave Denver with a series win.

The Padres have wins in two of the first three games in the series, including a 5-2 victory Wednesday night.

Hudson, who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2018 to 2023, is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts vs. San Diego. He could use some help from Colorado’s offense, which has struggled for most of the season and on this homestand. The Rockies have been held to two runs or less in five of the six games entering Thursday.

They are 28th in the league in homers (19), a total that was boosted by three blasts in the last two games.

Colorado had gone six games without going deep before Brendan Rodgers hit a grand slam in Tuesday night’s 7-4 win over San Diego.

“There’s a bunch of us grinding some at-bats out, not getting too satisfied with the outcome,” Rodgers said. “But there’s a lot of games left. We’re just getting to that 100 at-bats. We’ve got 500-plus more. I keep telling the guys be positive, keep grinding.”

Rodgers and his teammates hope they can solve Vasquez in his first career outing against the Rockies. Vasquez was recalled from Triple-A El Paso to make his season debut Saturday against Toronto and was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs (one earned) in five innings.

Vasquez made five starts in 11 appearances with the New York Yankees last season after making his major league debut on May 26. He was acquired by the Padres in the seven-player deal that sent Juan Soto to New York.

San Diego had hoped to have slugger Manny Machado back from paternity leave for Thursday’s game, but he will rejoin the team when it opens a three-game series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. Machado has been limited to designated hitter duties while rehabbing his right elbow, an injury that required offseason surgery.

The Padres are in a position to win the series in Denver despite not having Machado available. Others have picked up the slack, with Dylan Cease pitching a strong game on Monday and Xander Bogaerts collecting three hits Wednesday night.

“I feel good,” Bogaerts said. “The whole year, I’ve said I’ve been seeing the ball better than normal.”

Bogaerts has struggled out of the gate and was batting .191 over the weekend. He has since raised his average 28 points after going 6-for-16 with one homer, two RBIs and three runs over his last four games.

“I think he’s pretty much there,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said recently. “He’s such a pro. He knows who he is, what he’s about.”

–Field Level Media

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