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Nicasio gets standing ovation from crowd

Juan Nicasio won't be breaking any "oldest pitcher ever" records like his teammate Jamie Moyer did Tuesday night.

But the 25-year-old righty is at least hoping he can build off Moyer's solid effort to give the Rockies their second straight series victory when they host the Padres on Wednesday.

Nicasio gets the ball against San Diego lefty Clayton Richard, making his first start of the season against someone other than the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In his last appearance, Richard worked two perfect innings before two dreadful innings, in which he allowed eight runs. Four of the runs were unearned, but he still surrendered four walks and six hits, including a homer to the Dodgers' Matt Kemp.

He was able to last six innings, but it was a poor outing after he shut out the Dodgers through seven innings on April 8 for San Diego's first win of the season.

Richard will be aided by a steadily improving offense that has now scored 14 runs in three games after scoring just one run apiece in three of the previous four games. Chase Headley pinpointed the reason why.

"We got a little confidence back," the Padres' third baseman said. "We were kind of scuffling a little bit there. I don't know if we were letting it affect our confidence, the early struggles, but we got back to believing what we could do."

But for the Padres to be successful on Wednesday, it may depend on which Nicasio they face. The phrase "night and day" describes Nicasio's first two outings well enough.

The hard-throwing righty held Houston to one run in seven innings his first time out, but was roughed up by the D-backs at Coors Field over the weekend. He didn't make it out of the third inning on Friday, when he allowed five hits and five walks that resulted in six runs.

Strangely enough, he didn't get the decision in either contest, as the bullpen cost Colorado the game his first time out and then saved the Rockies against Arizona.

Padres: Kotsay returns to two-hit night
• Outfielder Mark Kotsay returned from the disabled list Tuesday and had two hits off Rockies starter Jamie Moyer.

Neither ball was hit hard, but after missing the first two weeks with a right calf strain, Kotsay is happy to be off to a solid start. He is now hitting .583 against Moyer, the best average for anyone with at least 30 at-bats against the 49-year-old lefty.

"We have a history together," Kotsay said. "Our history goes back. We haven't seen each other probably since 2006. There's no explanation [for my success off him]."

• Wednesday's game will be the last of 13 straight National League West games for the Padres to start the 2012 season. They play host to the Phillies for a four-game set starting on Thursday.

• Entering Tuesday's game, Padres hitters were tied for first in the Majors in walks with 50 and led the league in strikeouts with 97. They did neither very often on Tuesday, though as they managed three walks, while striking out three times as well.

Rockies: Escalona recalled, Chatwood sent down
• Before Tuesday's game, the Rockies recalled righty reliever Edgmer Escalona and optioned Tyler Chatwood to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The plan is for the 22-year-old Chatwood, the youngest player on the season-opening roster, to get work as a starter. He struggled early this season out of the 'pen, posting a 5.63 ERA in four appearances.

In 19 career Major League games that have totaled 31 2/3 innings for Escalona, he has posted a 1.71 ERA with 11 walks and 16 strikeouts.

• Carlos Gonzalez returned to the lineup for the Rockies on Tuesday after strep throat had kept him out of games since Friday. He went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks.

Worth noting
• Richard's numbers are miserable at Coors Field. In four starts, he is winless and has an ERA of 7.89, allowing 31 hits in 21 2/3 innings.

• The Rockies' win Tuesday snapped a streak of five straight losses to the Padres, including four in a row at Coors Field. In their final meeting in 2011, San Diego swept Colorado in Denver in late September with both teams out of the playoff picture.

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