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Rockies Game #43 Preview: Rockies return to Coors looking to get back on track

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Having lost five of their last six away from home, the Rockies return to Coors Field looking for a win in the series opener against the Padres.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The bad news for the Rockies is they've lost three games in a row for the first time this season. The good news for them is that they return to Coors Field tonight where they are 13-5 and their offense has run through opposing pitching staffs like a hot knife through butter.

The pitcher with the task of facing the Rockies formidable home offense tonight is Padres letfy Eric Stults. So far this season, Stults has a 5.03 ERA in eight starts and 39 1/3 innings, allowing eight home runs. He has a 4.14 ERA in his career against the Rockies to go with a 5.34 career mark at Coors Field. Earlier this season, he gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits against the Rockies in five innings at Petco Park.

With the southpaw on the mound, Drew Stubbs gets the start in center field and will bat second. Stubbs has a .910 OPS against lefties this season and an .802 OPS against them in his career. He will be joined in the outfield by Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez, with all of the Rockies regular starters in the lineup in the infield.

The Rockies will send a lefty of their own to the mound in Opening Day starter Jorge De La Rosa. After a rough start to the season, De La Rosa has righted the ship with a 2.70 ERA in 30 innings over his last five starts, not allowing more than three runs in any of the five games. In five starts against  the Padres since the start of 2013, he has a 3.10 ERA.

Padres manager Bud Black has overloaded his lineup with right-handed bats against the left-handed De La Rosa tonight, with the first seven hitters in the Padres lineup either righties or switch hitters. That means that Seth Smith, who has been by far the Padres best hitter this season, will be on the bench tonight.