Volquez aims to slow down red-hot Rockies

10:14 AM, Apr 7, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Edinson Volquez hopes to put an atrocious first start behind him on Sunday when the San Diego Padres try to salvage the finale of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Volquez lasted just three innings in an Opening Day loss to the New York Mets and was pounded for six runs and six hits. He also walked three and struck out four.

"I expected to do better than that today," Volquez said after the outing.

In his 32 starts last season, only once did Volquez pitch three or fewer innings -- and oddly enough, that start came against the Mets on Aug. 4 when he lasted 1 2/3 innings.

"Bad game," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Colorado, meanwhile, will counter with righty Jhoulys Chacin, who was terrific in his season debut after a disappointing spring. Chacin, though, did not get a decision against Milwaukee, despite surrendering just a run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings of his team's 5-4 loss.

Chacin, who signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract during the offseason, is 2-1 lifetime versus the Padres with a 2.86 ERA in seven games (4 starts).

Colorado has been one of the season's early surprises and continued to roll on Saturday, as Michael Cuddyer hit a two-run home run and had four RBI to carry the Rockies to a 6-3 win.

Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki had an RBI apiece for the Rockies, who saw starter Jon Garland (1-0) allow two runs on five hits over six innings. Rafael Betancourt pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save of the season.

The Rockies have won four of five to start the year after losing a franchise- record 98 games a year ago. They haven't been 5-1 since 1995.

"It was another great start from one of our starting pitchers. That is a lot to be proud of for Jon right there after being away from pitching for that long and to go out there and pitch like that," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Jedd Gyorko drove in two runs and Alexi Amarista had an RBI for the Padres. Starter Tyson Ross (0-1) needed 96 pitches to get through four-plus innings and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on three hits and four walks.

"The first inning put him behind the eight ball in pitch count. The third and fourth were pretty clean, but in the fifth I noticed the velocity was coming down a bit and knew it was time to make a move," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Colorado hasn't completed a three-game home sweep of the Padres since turning the trick from April 18-20, 2003. Getting it done on a Sunday may be easier said than done, though, as the Rockies were just 5-22 last season on this day.

Of course, they set a major league record by losing 17 straight Sunday contests in 2011.

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