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Preview: Rockies at Padres

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres are both playing out the string in the National League West while trying to discover which players will help them turn things around next season. That evaluation process continues on Friday, when the Padres host the Rockies for the start of a three-game series. San Diego is attempting to get out of the basement in the division and would also like to jump over Colorado if possible.

The Rockies, Padres and San Francisco Giants are locked in a battle for the basement, with Colorado sitting three games clear of San Diego. The Rockies put together three straight series wins before running into the Los Angeles Dodgers and dropping two of three this week. The Padres took two of three from the Giants but saw a string of four straight games allowing two or fewer runs come to an end in a 13-5 setback on Wednesday.

TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports (Colorado), FSN San Diego

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies RH Juan Nicasio (8-7, 4.82 ERA) vs. Padres RH Burch Smith (0-1, 11.37)

Nicasio had a run of three strong starts end on Saturday against Cincinnati, when he was lit up for six runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings to suffer the loss. The 27-year-old Dominican is coming to the end of his first full season in a major-league rotation. Nicasio held San Diego to two runs on four hits and struck out seven in six innings on June 9 but did not factor in the decision.

Smith is making his fourth start but attempting to complete more than 2 1/3 innings for only the second time. The 23-year-old made his first three starts for the team in May but allowed a total of 15 runs in 7 1/3 innings before being sent back down to the minors. Smith came up for three relief appearances in June and July but is making another effort to earn a spot in the 2014 rotation in his first appearance against Colorado.

WALK-OFFS

1. Rockies rookie 3B Nolan Arenado (thumb) left Wednesday’s game in the fifth inning.

2. San Diego CF Cameron Maybin, who has been out since June 10 with a strained left knee, will undergo surgery on his right wrist on Friday and is done for the season.

3. Colorado OF Carlos Gonzalez (finger) is still limited by the injury and is day-to-day.

PREDICTION: Rockies 7, Padres 5

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