San Diego's monthly record has steadily improved since a 7-17 April, so much so that a winning September would give the Padres their third-consecutive winning month. The Padres were particularly hot in August, turning in an 18-10 month that propelled them to the National League West's best winning percentage since June 12.
The Rockies had a pretty good August, too, playing to a 16-13 record, which represented the team's winningest month since April, 2011 (17 wins). That, with a team still lacking star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and without the veteran presence of Todd Helton.
So both Colorado and San Diego carry some momentum into the final month of the season. Though neither is on the cusp of a playoff spot, both squads have plenty to play for in September. That's because both the Rockies (18 games) and Padres (21 games) will play most of their September contests against teams still firmly in playoff contention.
"Our guys are playing with great intent," said Padres manager Bud Black, after his team's only loss in its last eleven games, on Tuesday against the Braves.
San Diego took two of three from the NL Wild Card leaders, following sweeps of the Pirates and D-Backs, both of whom are still within range of a Wild Card spot.
The showdown of spoilers will resume Saturday with a matchup between Edinson Volquez and Joulys Chacin, who is making just his third start since returning from the disabled list on August 26.
The righty, who missed 97 games with right shoulder inflammation, has allowed just two runs in eleven innings since his return. In 18 career innings against the Padres, Chacin has struck out 18.
Volquez is in the midst of his best season since his 17-6 breakout year in 2008. His 27 starts are the most he's made in a season since then, and his 15 quality starts are second only to the 20 he made in '08.
Volquez's stuff seems to translate just fine to Coors Field, as he is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three games there in his career.
Padres: Headley's historic August
With the beginning of September comes the end of what was one of the greatest offensive months by a player in Padres' history, courtesy of Chase Headley. Headley hit .306, tallying 31 RBIs -- tops in the National League for the month -- and belted 10 home runs. Those are the most homers and RBIs by a Padre in August since Phil Nevin in 1999. Fellow third baseman Ken Caminiti holds the team record for both numbers, set in his MVP season in 1996, when he hit 14 August homers and drove in 38 runs.
Rockies: Fowler a late scratch Friday
Rockies' outfielder Dexter Fowler's right ankle made him a late scratch from the starting lineup for Friday's series opener with the Padres. Fowler severely rolled the ankle in an Aug. 22 game against the Mets, and hasn't started since, though he has pinch-hit in four games since, including a seventh-inning single on Friday night.
Fowler also had trouble with the ankle earlier this season after tripping on a dugout step in Miami in late May.
The 26-year-old is hitting .308 with 12 homers and 45 RBI in 119 games.
Padres' reliever Luke Gregerson earned the save in San Diego's 5-4 win on Friday night, but gave up a solo home run to Andrew Brown. That run was the first scored against Gregerson since July 3, a stretch of 23 scoreless innings, the longest by a Padres' pitcher this year.
Rockies' rookie catcher Wilin Rosario hit his 23rd home run of the season Friday night. Rosario is tops among NL rookies in homers, and trails only Mike Trout (25) for the Major League rookie lead.