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PIT@SD: Hawpe hammers a homer in the ninth inning

DENVER -- The Padres' Brad Hawpe may be playing at Coors Field as a visitor this weekend, but he won't exactly be in hostile territory.

Rockies first baseman Todd Helton has shared plenty of meals with Hawpe, who spent seven seasons with the Rockies, the team that drafted him in 2000. Hawpe, who signed with the Padres as a free agent in the offseason, will return to Denver on Friday as the two teams meet for a three-game National League West showdown.

"He's one of my best friends," Helton said. "I'm going to walk outside and call him right now and see what he's doing for lunch [Friday]."

It should be a fond homecoming for Hawpe, who was a major factor in the Rockies' run to the 2007 World Series and earned a trip to the All-Star Game in 2009. Hawpe also is in position to add to the Rockies' misery. Colorado has lost eight of its last 10 games and fallen out of first place in the NL West.

"Obviously, the 2007 World Series, making it there and the stretch run we had there that September," Hawpe said. "I will always remember making my debut against the Braves [in 2004] -- going 4-for-5 in a doubleheader -- thinking, 'Man, I'm going to be good in this game.' A few weeks later, I'm back in [Triple-A Colorado Springs] trying to figure it out.

"But getting voted in to play in the All-Star Game, and just that second half of the 2007 season. It was like a dream coming true until we lost to Boston in the World Series."

Hawpe slumped during the second half of last season and the Rockies released him after he hit .255 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 88 games. He finished the season with the Rays (.179, 2 HR, 7 RBIs in 15 games).

A right fielder with the Rockies, Hawpe is playing first base with the Padres, with whom he signed during the winter as a free agent.

The Rockies say they are excited to see their former teammate, who hit .280 with 118 home runs during his tenure in Colorado.

"We are always excited to see 'Hawper,'" Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs said. "Hopefully he doesn't do too well against us. But when he's away from us, we're always rooting for him."

After a miserable start, Hawpe has heated up as of late. He is hitting .340 in his last 13 games and has five multihit games in that span.

Of course, some folks around Coors might not recognize their old friend. Always clean-shaven while with the Rockies, Hawpe is sporting a mustache and goatee.

"I'm more excited about the facial hair than the uniform," Rockies outfielder Seth Smith said. "It'll be great to see him. He was here when I first got here and he's a good friend of mine. I'm glad he's starting to swing it.

"Hopefully, he'll forget for three days, and then he'll remember again."

Rockies: De La Rosa looking to bounce back

Charged with cooling Hawpe and the Padres is Jorge De La Rosa, who is coming off his first loss of the season despite pitching well against the Giants -- he gave up three runs in six innings.

De La Rosa (4-1) has worked on improving his pace on the mound, which has helped him alleviate frustration when he runs into jams.

"He's always been a very confident guy in my opinion, but the difference you see in Jorge De La Rosa is his ability to handle adversity a lot better than he has in the past," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

Padres: Moseley searching for support

Right-hander Dustin Moseley wouldn't mind a portion run support the Padres provided their pitching staff on Wednesday, when they tallied season highs in hits (23) and runs (13) in a win over the Brewers.

Moseley (1-4) is sporting a petite 2.47 ERA, but the Padres have scored no more than one run in five of his starts. He's held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in five of his seven starts.

Worth noting

• Rockies reliever Matt Lindstrom gave up a two-run home run to Carlos Beltran on Thursday, breaking a streak of 13 scoreless innings for the right-hander.

• The eight runs the Padres scored on Wednesday marked their highest-scoring inning of the season. Prior to Wednesday, they had only scored 14 runs in the eighth inning this season. Comments