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5


National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 5th (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (1-2) at Colorado Rockies (2-1), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Jason Marquis (0-0, 0.00) Colorado - Jeff Francis (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies eye a third straight win on Friday when they host the San Diego Padres in the franchise's 20th home opener.

As part of this afternoon's festivities, Colorado's original 1993 roster are scheduled to attend and be honored on the field prior to the game.

Despite a season in which Colorado lost a franchise record 98 games and an offseason that saw it stay relatively inactive, there may be some good feelings inside the ballpark on Friday, as the Rockies return home after taking two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers to start the season.

New manger Walt Weiss had to like his lineup, which battered Brewers pitching to the tune of 19 runs and 41 hits, including eight home runs. Carlos Gonzalez led the way, going 6-for-15 with two homers.

"We've got a good offense," catcher Wilin Rosario remarked. "Hopefully we can keep it up on the road all year like we did here."

Hoping for a little bit of that run support on Friday will be veteran Jeff Francis, who normally gets off to a bad start. Francis is 0-4 in his first start of the season over the course of his eight-year career, while pitching to a 7.11 ERA in those outings.

Francis was 6-7 last season with a 5.58 ERA in 24 starts. He is 6-13 with a 5.70 ERA in 25 career starts against the Padres.

"I have a good plan as to what I want to do on the mound. I have for a while. It just comes down to me executing that plan," Francis said.

San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with a veteran of its own in righty Jason Marquis, who was 6-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 15 starts for the Padres after being released by Minnesota.

Marquis, of course, pitched for the Rockies in 2009 and owns a career 3.78 ERA in 140 1/3 innings in Denver. Because of that, manager Bud Black held him back a day instead of having him pitch against the New York Mets on Thursday.

"That was part of that for sure," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's pitched there, he was an All-Star there. The Opening Day environment won't bother him. He's a sinkerball pitcher and he keeps the ball down."

San Diego didn't need Marquis in Thursday's finale, though. The Padres salvaged the finale of their three-game series with the Mets, as Eric Stults combined with five relievers on a five-hitter in a 2-1 victory.

The Mets had pasted San Diego pitching for 19 runs in winning the first two tests of this season-opening series, but managed just three hits off Stults (1-0) during a five-inning stint in which the left-hander racked up seven of the Padres' 14 strikeouts.

"They were swinging the bat well the first two games," said Stults of the Mets. "They put up a lot of runs and weren't missing many pitches. The goal today was to keep us in the game and hopefully we could come out on top, and it worked out that way."

Luke Gregerson fanned three more over 1 1/3 hitless innings later on before giving way to Huston Street, who served up a home run to John Buck to open the bottom of the ninth before recording the final three outs to earn the save.

Jedd Gyorko put the Padres ahead with an RBI double in the fourth inning, with Yonder Alonso finishing 2-for-4 in the win.

San Diego was 10-8 against the Rockies last season.

04/05 10:42:20 ET