Padres turn to Davies to solve Rockies in Denver

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The San Diego Padres had a rough night on the field and with the roster Saturday, but they hope to turn their fortunes around when they wrap up a three-game weekend series against the Rockies in Colorado on Sunday.

Righty Zach Davies will take the ball for San Diego in the rubber match, going against Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela. Davies will try to give the bullpen some rest after the relievers logged some major innings in the first two games.

The Padres dropped Saturday’s game, 6-1, after a comeback win Friday. Saturday’s starter, Joey Lucchesi, didn’t make it out of the second inning, forcing manager Jayce Tingler to go to his bullpen early.

That came a night after closer Kirby Yates struggled, nearly suffering a blown save in Friday’s 8-7 win. Despite that, San Diego has not lost confidence in the 2019 major league saves leader.

“Jayce has our backs, and I appreciate everything he said about me. It goes a long way,” Yates told reporters Saturday. “It’s not a confidence thing. I still know who I am. I’ve just sucked the last two times. That’s the bottom line. I’ve got to get better.”

The Padres hope first baseman Eric Hosmer gets better soon. San Diego placed him on the 10-day disabled list with gastritis. Hosmer made the trip to Denver but didn’t play Friday or Saturday.

The Padres could have used another left-handed bat to go against Senzatela (1-0, 3.60 ERA). Senzatela looked sharp in Tuesday’s 8-3 win at Oakland, allowing six hits and two runs over five innings with three walks and three strikeouts in his first start of 2020.

He has pitched well against San Diego in his short career. He is 6-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 12 games (six starts) lifetime vs. the Padres, and has been even better at Coors Field. He is 4-0 with a 3.60 ERA in six games, three starts, when at home against San Diego.

Senzatela enjoys Coors Field more than closer Wade Davis, who imploded in the ninth on Friday night. He posted an 11.10 ERA in 29 appearances in Denver last year and gave up four runs, including two homers, to squander a lead in the series opener.

Manager Bud Black said Saturday he isn’t going to remove Davis from the closer role.

“In looking at video (Friday) night and this morning, he missed with a couple fastballs (up in the zone),” Black told reporters. “Against good hitters, that’s going to cost you. And then there’s the bad walk to (Trent) Grisham with two outs in a tight game — that’s not something Wade wanted to do.

“We’ll see where this goes.”

Colorado has seen Davies before, but this will be the first time in a San Diego uniform. The Padres acquired Davies from Milwaukee in the offseason, and he made a solid debut against San Francisco. He held the Giants to three runs — two earned — over five-plus innings, striking out five over 81 pitches.

He is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA in four career starts against Colorado. He has made only one appearance at Coors Field, allowing one run and two hits in five innings for Milwaukee last September.

–Field Level Media

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