Aside from their opener with the Colorado Rockies, the San Diego Padres have generally been receiving stellar starting pitching.
Casey Kelly's recent outings have been the other exception.
Kelly tries to bounce back from another disappointing showing when he takes the ball for the Padres on Saturday night against the Rockies.
Prior to Andrew Cashner getting knocked around for six runs over 3 2-3 innings in Friday 7-4 loss - snapping San Diego's winning streak at four - the team's starters had allowed three runs or fewer in eight of 10 games. Kelly (1-1, 7.07 ERA) was on the mound for the two less-than-stellar outings in that stretch.
The Rockies (58-85) were the first team to feast on his pitching, as the right-hander was touched up for seven runs in 5 2-3 innings on Sept. 2 in a wild 11-10 loss. Tyler Colvin and Ramon Hernandez each hit two-run homers off Kelly, who was then tagged for six runs in 2 1-3 innings while losing 8-5 to Arizona last Saturday.
"I'm going to learn a lot from this," he said after serving up three more homers to the Diamondbacks. "It's just going to make me better down the road."
The Padres (69-76) are hoping Kelly, who threw six scoreless innings in his major league debut against Atlanta on Aug. 27, can make some positive strides sooner rather than later in order to avoid a similar showing to Cashner's on Friday.
Rookies Wilin Rosario and Jordan Pacheco had consecutive two-run doubles as part of a five-run first-inning for Colorado, which won for the second time in nine games.
San Diego responded in the bottom of the first with rookie Yonder Alonso's grand slam, but the Padres managed five more hits the rest of the way in losing for only the sixth time in 23 games. Three of those defeats, however, have come in four games with the Rockies.
Carlos Gonzalez tied his career high with four hits and stole two bases Friday to become the first Rockie to reach the 20-20 club in three consecutive seasons, while Chris Nelson continued his surge, going 3 for 4 with a homer, double and two RBIs. Nelson is batting .522 with two home runs and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
San Diego center fielder Cameron Maybin is on a similar tear, batting .474 with a homer, three doubles and four RBIs in his last five contests. He is 10 for 17 in his last four games against the Rockies, and 1 for 3 lifetime against Drew Pomeranz (1-8, 4.80).
Pomeranz hasn't won since beating Washington on July 6, failing to finish five innings in seven of his last eight starts. He made it through four on Sunday in Philadelphia, yielding a run and four hits.
For the most part, the early exits haven't been a result of overly poor showings - the rookie left-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in four of five starts - but rather a lack of efficiency under Jim Tracy's pitch-count limit of 75.
Pomeranz didn't come close to throwing that many pitches in his last start against San Diego on July 20, when he was tagged for a career-worst seven runs in three innings of a 9-5 loss.
He has a 7.50 ERA in losing his three career starts versus the Padres.