video thumbnail

LAD@COL: Smith hammers a three-run shot in the first

Sometimes overshadowed by teammates Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton, Colorado's Seth Smith has been a quiet contributor to offense all season.

The right fielder went 0-for-3 in Monday's 3-1 victory by the Padres but went 5-for-10 during this weekend series against the Dodgers. He also hit .407 with a home run, a double, a triple and six RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak that came to an end Monday.

The key to Smith's success at the plate is his ability to focus on the "process."

"You feel better some days than others," Smith said. "You just want to have as many good at-bats as you can, whether you feel great, or average, or bad. You want to go up there and get a quality at-bat. That's really all you can control."

It will be up to San Diego starter Wade Leblanc, who is being called up from Triple-A Tucson, to control Smith on Tuesday. Dustin Moseley was originally scheduled to start but suffered a dislocation of his non-throwing shoulder during an at-bat against the Rockies on Wednesday. He threw about 35 pitches during a bullpen session on Monday and could return to the rotation this week.

The Rockies will counter with Juan Nicasio, who gave up four runs on seven hits over five innings against the Dodgers on Thursday.

LeBlanc gave up three runs on nine hits in eight innings against the Phillies in his lone start for San Diego this season on April 24. He struck out two and walked four batters.

He's 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two starts at Coors Field.

"I think what helps you in [Coors Field] is making pitches, hitting good spots, whether you throw hard or you don't have great velocity," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I've seen guys with lesser velocity pitch well here. I saw Greg Maddux pitch well here at the end, when he didn't have as much velocity. And I've seen guys who throw hard here get hammered."

Padres: Hudson getting closer
Second baseman Orlando Hudson, who is on the 15-day disabled list after sustaining a groin strain on May 25, ran the bases, fielded ground balls and took batting practice at Coors Field on Monday. He could begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday.

• Ryan Ludwick has hit safely seven straight games and in 26 of 30 since May 11. He's batting .354 with four home runs and 25 RBIs during that stretch. He leads the team with 40 RBIs.

Rockies: Leadoff suits CarGo
Carlos Gonzalez has hit leadoff in all seven games during his current seven-game hitting streak. Overall, he's hitting .417 in eight games as the leadoff hitter this season.

• Rockies right-hander Esmil Rogers, completing rehab for a right lat strain, will pitch for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

• Center fielder Dexter Fowler, out with a lower left abdominal injury, took batting practice Monday and could begin a rehab assignment for Colorado Springs on Tuesday.

Worth noting
• Nine of San Diego's last 19 games have been decided by one run. Also, 16 of their last 22 have been decided by two or fewer.

• San Diego's Chris Denorfia is batting .326 with six doubles, a triple, four home runs and 21 runs scored in his last 47 games since April 13.

• The Padres have a .350 (14-26) winning percentage at home, the lowest in the Major Leagues.

MLB.com Comments