When Manny Machado went down with what looked like a severe ankle injury on June 19 in Colorado, Luke Voit was ready to take on more responsibility for the San Diego Padres.
The injury wasn’t as bad as first feared, and Machado returned to the lineup on June 30. It was a good thing considering Voit has endured a slump that has seen his average drop to .222, and he got a much-needed day off on Wednesday.
Voit should be back in the lineup when the Padres close out a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday in Denver.
San Diego won the first game 6-5 on Monday, but Colorado took the past two, 5-3 on Tuesday and 10-6 on Wednesday. The Rockies have won 12 of their past 13 home games against the Padres.
San Diego will send Blake Snell (1-5, 4.66 ERA) to oppose Kyle Freeland (4-7, 4.70) on Thursday in a battle of lefties.
Snell is 2-1 with a 3.89 ERA in seven career starts against Colorado.
Voit hopes to help the Rockies earn their fourth win in five games overall, but he’ll have to break out of his July slump. He is hitting just .167 (6-for-36) for the month and has only one home run.
San Diego manager Bob Melvin isn’t worried about the 31-year-old first baseman/designated hitter.
“I think like all of us right now, (he’s) probably trying to do a little too much,” Melvin said. “(Monday) night he gets a sac fly and (Tuesday) night he strikes out. He takes these things pretty hard. A veteran guy wants to come through in the middle of the order. Everybody goes through ebbs and flows.
“We as a team are right now, too, just a little bit of a down period here.”
The Padres, who have dropped four of their past five games, are becoming familiar with Freeland. He has already started twice against them this season, and those outings came in consecutive starts. Freeland got the win at San Diego on June 11 and picked up another victory six days later at home.
Overall, he is 5-5 with a 3.99 ERA in 17 career games (15 starts) against the Padres.
The Rockies should get some key players back for the Thursday game. Left fielder Kris Bryant is expected to be activated off the paternity list after missing three games, and first baseman C.J. Cron is likely to be back in the starting lineup.
Cron started only one of the past five games due to a wrist injury sustained when he was hit by a pitch at Arizona on Friday night. He had a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning on Wednesday and stayed in the game to play defense.
He sat out Saturday and Sunday, played Monday and missed Tuesday.
“As a group, Cron included, we probably were a little aggressive on Monday night,” Rockies manager Bud Black said
Cron got hurt two days before he was named to his first All-Star team, but he should be able to play in the game next week in Los Angeles.
–Field Level Media