The Colorado Rockies can match their best start in 18 years and sweep a home series from the San Diego Padres for the first time in 10 seasons.
The Rockies are in that position thanks greatly to Michael Cuddyer and Troy Tulowitzki wielding hot bats, having combined for the maximum four multihit efforts between them in this series heading into Sunday's finale at Coors Field.
Colorado (4-1) has taken all four games since a season-opening loss in Milwaukee. The Rockies last started 5-1 in 1995 and last swept three at home from San Diego (1-4) from April 18-20, 2003.
Cuddyer was the hitting star in Saturday's 6-3 victory with a two-run homer among three hits. He finished with four RBIs on the night and is 9 for 15 during the four-game win streak - 5 for 8 in this series.
The right fielder appeared to injure his left wrist diving for a ball in the eighth inning but returned to the field in the ninth. The Rockies later said the wrist was sore but fine.
"Cuddy, he's certainly a special guy," manager Walt Weiss said. "He does everything the right way. Competes every day, every minute he's out there. Just plays the game right. He's a great example for anybody who watches baseball."
Tulowitzki is 4 for 7 in the series and was Friday's star with a two-run double that put Colorado ahead for good in a 5-2 victory. He's 8 for 19 overall and his seven RBIs match Cuddyer for the team lead.
Jon Garland became the third straight Rockies starter to earn a victory Saturday by allowing two runs over six innings in his first appearance in almost two years.
San Diego has scored four runs or less in every game this season, and could find it difficult to break through Sunday against Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, 1.35 ERA).
Chacin is 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA in four career starts against the Padres. The right-hander yielded one run over seven innings Sept. 1 for a 9-1 victory in his lone 2012 start against them when he opposed Edinson Volquez - his mound opponent again Sunday.
Chacin (0-0, 1.35 ER) yielded one run over 6 2-3 innings in Monday's 5-4 defeat to the Brewers.
He'll look to reverse his woes from last year at Coors Field, where he went 2-2 with a 6.34 ERA in seven starts with opponents batting .321 against him.
The Padres haven't started 1-5 since 2002, and will hope that Volquez (0-1, 18.00) gives them a better effort than he did Monday.
Volquez lasted three-plus innings and gave up six runs in an 11-2 loss to the Mets, calling into question whether his participation in the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic affected him.
"I was off a little bit," Volquez said. "I got behind in the count and they hit the ball pretty good."
The right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.62 ERA in seven career starts against Colorado, going 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in four on the road.
Cuddyer and Tulowitzki have combined to go 1 for 9 against him, but left fielder Carlos Gonzalez is 5 for 12.
The Rockies will play Sunday home games an hour later this season after going 5-22 overall on Sundays last season.
The Associated Press News Service
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