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COL@SD: Chatwood tosses six solid frames vs. Padres

The road has proven the Rockies' greatest enemy this year, tougher to break than any division opponent.

Six games into their current nine-game trip, the story has remained the same, as Colorado will eye just its second victory of the trip in the opener of a three-game series against the D-backs on Friday night at Chase Field.

After losing a late lead, the Rockies were defeated by the Giants, 4-3, Wednesday, falling to 1-5 on their trip through the National League West. That loss kept the Rockies from finishing .500 or better for the eighth time in their nine road trips of at least five games.

The D-backs have fallen on similarly tough times, although they were able to snap a three-game skid and avoid a sweep against the Dodgers on Wednesday night. Arizona still has fallen almost entirely out of the playoff race and likely will start giving some young players more of a chance to prove they should be part of the team's plans for next year.

"We start to evaluate more how we're going to move forward," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said before Wednesday's game. "So I want to make sure and give all these guys opportunity."

On Friday, the D-backs will face one of the Rockies' bright young stars in Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 3.17 ERA). Sidelined by a right elbow injury for a month, Chatwood was finally back in form in a loss to the Padres on Saturday, allowing one run and five hits over six innings.

"We've been right in the middle of these games, and it's come down to the last inning both nights," Chatwood said following that start, though his words could also describe Wednesday's loss. "We've just got to catch a break."

The right-hander has been at his best away from the thin air of Coors Field with a 2.60 ERA in eight road starts. He's been even better facing division foes on the road, going 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA.

But Chatwood will have to make it by one of the toughest outs in the league -- D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt -- for his first win since July 26. Goldschmidt's 109 RBIs lead the NL and he ranks among the league's top three in home runs, extra-base hits, slugging percentage and walks.

Arizona will turn to Brandon McCarthy (4-9, 4.66), who's enjoying one of the better stretches of a trying season, for Friday's series opener. McCarthy gave up just one run in eight innings against the Giants on Saturday, good for his fourth win and second straight start of eight innings or more.

"It's just consistency and location," McCarthy said after his most recent victory. "For me, if my location is gone, it's going to be a tough day. I don't have that kind of stuff. If I had Matt Harvey's stuff, I could be a little less careful. For me, I have to have command. If I'm not using both sides of the plate, it becomes a much easier job for a team to hit me."

Rockies: Cuddyer front-runner for NL batting title
Two strong days from Michael Cuddyer were enough to push him past Braves third baseman Chris Johnson for the best batting average in the NL.

Cuddyer, who has never finished a season with an average higher than .284, went 6-for-9 over the final two games in San Francisco and is now batting .334. He had three singles and scored a run Wednesday, a quiet encore to his two-homer, four-RBI night that anchored the Rockies' come-from-behind win on Tuesday.

D-backs: Tough night for surging Prado
Goldschmidt may be stealing his thunder, but Martin Prado is quietly putting the finishing touches one of the best years of his career.

Prado was hitting .340 in his first 47 games since the All-Star break -- sixth-best in the NL and a dramatic improvement on his .253 first-half average -- and has already set a career-high with 73 RBIs. He drove in 30 of those runs in August alone, hitting .374 with four homers in 26 games.

Prado had plenty of opportunities to increase that RBI total on Wednesday, but endured a rare off night, going 0-for-5 with seven runners left on base.

Worth noting
• Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu didn't play Wednesday but has a career-high 12-game hitting streak, the third-longest active streak in the Majors.

• The D-backs' 31 wins in their final at-bat and franchise-record 13 walk-off victories are the most in the Majors.

• Rockies utility player Jordan Pacheco is 4-for-6 with an RBI against McCarthy. Comments