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Rockies-Padres Preview

The San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies are both now assured losing seasons.

The Padres' winning streak is over, and the Rockies' road skid has come to an end with Colorado clinching the season series between the NL West foes.

About all that remains of substance in the clubs' finale of a three-game series in San Diego Wednesday night is Justin Morneau continuing his pursuit of the batting title while both teams give starting pitchers further auditions for 2015.

Colorado (66-92), winner of seven of eight with a .348 average and 2.79 ERA, evened the series Tuesday with a 3-2 win. It handed San Diego (75-82) a fourth straight losing season while the Rockies built a 10-8 advantage versus the Padres with one to play.

It also ended the Rockies' second eight-game road losing streak of the season.

Morneau, batting .408 in his last 13 games, went 1 for 4 and saw his NL-best average dip to .319, two percentage points clear of Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison. The Colorado first baseman is batting .448 in nine games at San Diego this season.

The Padres have managed three runs in the first two games of the series and were unable to win a season-best sixth straight after Rene Rivera was robbed by Brandon Barnes of a game-tying homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.

"That's baseball," Rivera said. "I hit it well. I saw it off the bat, it went up and I had good, hard contact. But in Petco sometimes you still have to run hard. He made a great catch."

Colorado sends Yohan Flande to the mound to face Joe Wieland.

Flande (0-5, 4.91 ERA) is making a second straight start after five relief outings. Besides seeking his first major league win in his 10th start, he's looking to improve his numbers in that role, which have thus far resulted in all five of his losses, a 5.51 ERA and a .271 opponents' batting average compared to six scoreless innings of relief with a .118 OBA.

In Thursday's 7-6 win over Arizona, he surrendered two runs and two hits over five innings and was limited to 59 pitches as part of a strict count.

The left-hander lost his only start against the Padres, 4-1 in San Diego on Aug. 12 after allowing two runs in four innings.

Run support has been a part of the winless run with Flande receiving two runs over his last three starts and a 2.94 run support average in all nine.

Should his pitch count again be enforced, the Rockies could need a strong bullpen showing to complete the series win. Over the last five games, their relievers have allowed two runs in 14 1-3 innings.

Wieland (0-0, 9.00) lasted 2 1-3 innings in his only start this season, allowing four runs and seven hits Sept. 6 in Colorado. The right-hander missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery.

"Joe was a little spotty," manager Bud Black told MLB's official website. "The fastball command wasn't there. He wasn't missing by a lot."

He followed up the start with two relief appearances. Overall, he's being hit at a .433 clip as he gets some late-season work in after returning from the extended layoff.

Morneau and Michael McKenry are both 2 for 2 with a home run off Wieland.

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