The San Diego Padres found an offensive spark their last time out. Now, the Colorado Rockies are hoping the possible return of Carlos Gonzalez will do the same for them.
Jamie Moyer may not mind any kind of help.
With Gonzalez potentially back, the 49-year-old Moyer gets his third chance to become the oldest player in major league history to win a game as the Rockies try to end a five-game slide to the Padres on Tuesday night.
San Diego raised its batting average 19 points to .210 following a team meeting, which helped spur a season-high 14 hits with seven doubles in Monday's 7-1 win at Colorado (4-6) in the opener of this three-game set.
"We just talked a little bit about relaxing and understanding that you play a 162-game season," said third baseman Chase Headley, who had three doubles and extended his hitting streak to eight games. "While it looks really, really ugly right at the moment, there's a long ways to go."
The Rockies have totaled three runs and 13 hits over their last two games, but may not be quite as desperate as the Padres (3-8) to begin worrying about offensive shortcomings just yet.
Gonzalez's return may provide the solution.
The left fielder has missed three games with strep throat, but said his strength is steadily returning. He's 6 for 14 with two triples and four RBIs in his last three games.
Gonzalez has also feasted on San Diego pitching at Coors Field, hitting .359 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 17 games.
Moyer (0-2, 4.22) would certainly welcome Gonzalez back to the lineup as he gets another crack at a historic victory. Jack Quinn was also 49 when he earned his last victory Sept. 13, 1932, but he was younger than Moyer is now.
Moyer's latest attempt at the record resulted in Thursday's 4-2 loss to San Francisco, as he allowed four runs - two earned - and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. His teammates have committed five errors in his two starts.
"He's done an outstanding job," first baseman Jason Giambi said. "You can't ask more from the two starts he's made for us. It's just unfortunately we've made a mistake here or there or not come up with the big hit to get him over the top and come up with that first W."
Moyer has won his last two starts against the Padres behind a 1.13 ERA. However, he hasn't faced them since tossing a seven-hitter in a 6-2 win with Philadelphia on June 5, 2010.
Improved fielding from Troy Tulowitzki would help. The Gold Glove shortstop has committed four errors - two shy of his total from last season.
"It's just one of those things in the early part of the season that you have to let the ebb and flow take place and let him get into a groove," manager Jim Tracy said. "Tulo's one of the guys who's searching to find some things and you have to allow that situation to happen. That's all."
The Padres are expected to give Anthony Bass (0-1, 2.16) another turn in the rotation due to a strained right shoulder to Dustin Moseley.
Bass was 2-0 with a 1.68 ERA in 27 games - three starts - in his first major-league season in 2011, and turned in a strong effort in place of Moseley during Thursday's 3-1 win loss to Arizona. The right-hander yielded one run and three hits with five strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings.
He compiled a 0.69 ERA in five meetings with the Rockies last year, winning both of his starts while yielding one run in 10 innings.
The Associated Press News Service
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