Chad Bettis has bounced back from a rough start with a good one against the San Diego Padres already this season, and he'll try to do it again to snap the Colorado Rockies' slump against their NL West foe.
While trying to end his miserable stretch Saturday night, Bettis hopes to cool down the Padres as the visiting Rockies try for just their third win in the last nine games of this series.
Last-place San Diego (22-34) continued its dominance of Colorado (24-30) with Friday's series-opening 4-0 win - the club's fifth in seven games against the Rockies this season.
Matt Kemp supplied the offense early with a first-inning three-run homer, and Drew Pomeranz tossed seven two-hit innings. San Diego scored 27 runs on 39 hits its previous two games against Seattle.
However, it was still just the Padres' fifth win in their last 18 games. The Rockies have lost three straight and 12 of 16.
Bettis (4-4, 5.46) has been rocked in his last two starts, allowing 13 runs and 15 hits - three of them homers - in 8 1/3 innings. He lasted a season-low 3 2/3 in Monday's 11-8 loss to Cincinnati after getting shelled for eight hits and six runs.
In those two outings, the right-hander walked six, issued two intentional passes and struck out four. In a five-run fourth inning Monday, Bettis walked pitcher Dan Straily - who is 0 for 63 for his career.
"You can't have that happen at that point," Bettis said. "It's an at-bat that swings the whole game. Have to be better than that and I have faith that I will be."
Bettis bounced back from a rough season opener with seven solid innings against San Diego in a 6-3 win April 10. He allowed just six hits and two runs - one earned - while striking out six without a walk.
That strong start moved Bettis' career ERA against the Padres to 1.82 and his WHIP to 0.93. Catcher Hector Sanchez is the only current San Diego player with a home run in the matchup, going 4 for 6 with five RBIs.
Andrew Cashner has logged back-to-back quality starts after returning from a two-week stint on the disabled list. Cashner (2-5, 4.79), who missed time with a strained right hamstring, still took the loss in each - giving him three straight defeats.
The right-hander gave up six hits and four runs - three earned - in 6 1/3 innings of Monday's 9-3 loss at Seattle. A positive sign was his one walk after issuing 12 over his previous four starts.
He cruised through five scoreless innings while allowing just two hits, but he was done in by a four-run sixth. Nori Aoki opened that frame by reaching on a catcher's interference call, and Kyle Seager ended the rally with a two-out, two-run homer.
"Outside of that I thought he threw the ball really, really well. There's not much to look at, he used both sides of the plate today, he varied his slider, mixed in his changeup. I thought he was great," manager Andy Green said.
"The sixth inning with the catcher's interference and just the pitch to Seager would be the only one in my mind that we'd have back."
Cashner held the Rockies to five hits and three runs in six innings of a 6-3 win on May 3, though he has a 4.83 ERA in seven career starts against them.
Charlie Blackmon homered in the latest matchup, and Nolan Arenado (7 for 18, two doubles) and DJ LeMahieu (5 for 13, double) have seen him well in the past.