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Preview: Rockies at Padres

GAME: Colorado Rockies (57-81) at San Diego Padres (66-73)
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, September 09 – 9:10 PM EST
WHERE: Petco Park, San Diego, California
LINE: 158, -172 TOTAL: 7.5

Nolan Arenado has emerged as one of the top power sources in the major leagues at the age of 24. Colorado’s third baseman hit his National League-leading 37th homer of the campaign in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss and has gone deep in seven of his last nine contests entering Wednesday’s tilt against the host San Diego Padres.

Arenado had to leave Monday’s victory with bruised ribs after diving into the stands in pursuit of a foul pop but didn’t appear hindered one night later as he hit a solo shot off San Diego closer Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game. Arenado is 8-for-14 with three homers against scheduled Padres starter James Shields, while Carlos Gonzalez (7-for-16, two homers) and Justin Morneau (16-for-50, two) also have performed well against the right-hander. The Padres pushed across a run in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday to halt a four-game skid and win for just the second time in eight games. Matt Kemp went 1-for-4 in the contest and has reached base in a career-best 28 consecutive games.

TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Colorado), FSN San Diego

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies LH Chris Rusin (5-7, 4.78 ERA) vs. Padres RH James Shields (10-6, 3.83)

Rusin tossed his second complete game of the season when he defeated San Francisco in his last turn. He allowed three runs and six hits in the victory and has given up six runs in two starts since getting torched for 11 runs and 12 hits in two-plus innings by the New York Mets on Aug. 22. Rusin hasn’t allowed a run in 15 1/3 career frames against the Padres as he tossed a five-hit shutout against them on Aug. 16.

Shields received a no-decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last outing, when he gave up three runs and three hits while issuing a season-high six walks in five innings. He has won just two of his last nine starts but has reached double digits in victories for the ninth straight season. Shields is 4-1 with a 4.33 ERA in six career starts against Colorado, including two victories this season to go with a 4.96 ERA in three outings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Padres LF Justin Upton is homerless over his last nine contests after hitting four in a five-game stretch in late August.

2. Rockies OF Corey Dickerson (ribs) was activated from the disabled list Tuesday and lined out as a pinch hitter.

3. San Diego 1B Yonder Alonso (back) missed his seventh straight game while RHP Joaquin Benoit (back) was unavailable for the second consecutive contest.

PREDICTION: Rockies 3, Padres 1