It wasn't a good road trip for the Padres. They're hoping a return home can prove to be the kickstart as a division rival comes to town for an important National League West showdown.
San Diego was as little as one game back in the contentious NL West as of June 17, and 2 1/2 games back at the end of the month. But the Padres have lost 15 of 19 since the 17th, including nine in a row, to fall 7 1/2 games back of the D-backs after a series sweep at the hands of the Nationals in Washington.
Now, San Diego comes home to Petco Park for a critical homestand before the All-Star break, including three games against the Rockies and four against the Giants. The first game of the series against the Rockies on Monday pits San Diego's Edinson Volquez against Colorado's Tyler Chatwood.
The Rockies' right-hander ran into trouble against another NL West opponent in his last start, when he was roughed up by the hot-hitting Dodgers. He allowed season highs in runs (six), earned runs (five) and hits (11).
"I ran into a lineup like that, they're hot, you don't execute some pitches and they beat you," Chatwood said.
Volquez pitched well in his last start, against the Red Sox, when he allowed just one earned run in six innings while walking one and striking out six.
"It was a gutty performance," Padres manager Bud Black said of Volquez's outing. "I liked the no walks. The curveball tonight was the key for Eddie. He had a good [changeup] at times. He threw the ball great."
It was a far better performance than his last against the Rockies on June 7, when he gave up a career-high nine runs. Since then, he's gone 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA. The Padres have won three of his last five starts.
Colorado has won eight of the 10 meetings between the two teams this year.
Rockies: Tulo to begin rehab assignment
Recently selected to the NL All-Star team, Troy Tulowitzki is unsure if he'll be able to participate in the Midsummer Classic. The shortstop hasn't played since June 13 due to a rib injury.
But Tulowitzki will start a rehab assignment Monday at Triple-A Colorado Springs, leaving the possibility of returning to the Rockies before the All-Star break. But if Tulowitzki's return is delayed until after the break, he said he won't play in the All-Star Game.
• Dexter Fowler, dealing with an injured right wrist, will also begin his rehab assignment with the Sky Sox on Monday.
• San Diego hitters have 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings against Chatwood, all coming last season.
Padres: More news to come on Grandal
After a play at the plate Saturday left catcher Yasmani Grandal with ligament damage in his right knee, the Padres are hoping to have more information Monday. The news doesn't look good, as tests have revealed that he has damage to his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. He will have an MRI when the team returns to San Diego.
"Any play at home plate or third base or second base, when you have two professional athletes making contact, there's a risk," said Black, who did not believe Washington's Anthony Rendon made a dirty play. "And at home, at times, it can be a little more extreme. You're trying to score a run."
The team has already placed Grandal on the 60-day disabled list, and added Rene Rivera to the 25-man roster from Triple-A Tuscon. Rivera, 29, will be making his Padres debut, and his first appearance in a big league game since 2011.
• Over his last 35 games since May 24, Carlos Quentin has hit .349 (43-for-123) with nine doubles, six homers, 15 RBIs and 21 runs.
• Carlos Gonzalez has a sprained middle finger on his right hand and is listed as day-to-day.
• On the upcoming homestand, the Padres will introduce a new summer promotional lineup, including the first Taco Tuesday of the season, as well as Pacific Coast League Retro Night on Friday against the Giants.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.