Tyson Ross has established himself in the Padres' rotation in the last month and a half, a stark contrast from the starter he was at the beginning of the season. The Padres will go for a series win over the Rockies on Saturday at Petco Park after Friday's 4-3 win on Jesus Guzman's walkoff single.
In eight starts since rejoining the Padres rotation on July 23, Ross has posted a 2.45 ERA, opponents are hitting just .197 against him and he's struck out at least six batters in each outing.
While Ross struggled as a starter at the beginning of the season, allowing five earned runs in 9 1/3 innings with seven walks in two starts against the Rockies in April, he has a plan to finish the 2013 season on a high note.
"Just keep throwing the ball well, and make sure I stay out of hitter's counts," Ross said. "It's important to carry over that feeling into the offseason. That's going to be the first thing you think about during the offseason, is how you finished the year."
Meanwhile, Tyler Chatwood will take the mound for the Rockies. He had to exit in the third inning of his last start against the Reds on Sunday after taking a line drive off his right thumb. It was Chatwood's first start after spending a month on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
"It was sore, and then it started swelling up a little bit and kind of lost a little feeling in there," Chatwood said. "So it was frustrating. You wait a month to start and that happens."
Padres: No timetable for Alonso's return
If Yonder Alonso's injured right hand can heal before the season ends, he will likely be able to play in the final games of the year.
"He's motivated to play," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He wants to play sometime this year. Let's hope that the hand cooperates."
Black said there is no set cut-off date for Alonso to return this season. Alonso, who has been out since Aug. 30, has spent the last few pregame sessions taking ground balls.
Rockies: Oswalt to pitch on Sunday
The Rockies activated Roy Oswalt on Friday and will use him on Sunday in tandem with rookie Chad Bettis.
"I'd like to get a good look at him before the end of the season," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We feel like he could help us. He's missed a lot of time, but we still like him enough to watch him pitch the rest of the year."
Bettis will start on Sunday, and will be followed by Oswalt. Oswalt hasn't pitched in the Majors since July 7, when he strained his left hamstring. In a rehab start on Tuesday, Oswalt allowed just three hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
• Nolan Arenado was out of the starting lineup for Friday's game with a right thumb bruise (he entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning), but he insists the injury won't cost him any more time.
• Dexter Fowler left Saturday's game in the middle of the sixth inning after aggravating his left knee injury. He is day to day.
• Will Venable has hit 10 home runs since the All-Star break, which ranks second in the National League behind only Washington's Jayson Werth (11).
• Ronny Cedeno has a hit in 12 of his last 13 games, batting .333 (14-for-42) with a .548 slugging percentage during that span.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.