Kemp sets Padres RBI record for first five games of a season

Right fielder is 7-for-11 with 3 HRs in first two games at Coors Field

Kemp sets Padres RBI record for first five games of a season

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Much has been written over the years about why the Padres pitch to Adrian Gonzalez, even in the first inning with no one on.

Well, you just can't give a hitter a pass no matter how hot he might be against a specific team.

Case in point, Matt Kemp and the Colorado Rockies -- especially at Coors Field in Denver, particularly if you are left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa.

Kemp hit two home runs Saturday night off De La Rosa. Kemp's career line against De La Rosa is now 24-for-51 (.471) with six doubles, a triple, seven homers and 22 RBIs -- for a .500 career on-base percentage, a 1.039 slugging percentage and a 1.539 OPS. Kemp has more doubles, homers and RBIs off De La Rosa than any other pitcher he has faced in his career.

In his first two games at Coors Field this season, Kemp is 7-for-11 with three home runs, 10 RBIs and four runs scored. Of course, his RBI total is also his RBI total for the season's first five games -- which happens to be a Padres record. The Padres' RBI record for a three-game series is 15, set by Nate Colbert at Atlanta in 1972.

Kemp's career totals at Coors Field are a .339 batting average with 21 doubles, five triples and 19 homers in 74 games. In Denver, Kemp has a .406 on-base percentage, a .647 slugging percentage and a 1.053 OPS.

So facing De La Rosa at Coors Field is like nirvana for Kemp.

Overall, Kemp has a career .315 average against the Rockies with 39 doubles, seven triples and 39 home runs with 133 RBIs in 148 career games.

And, yes, those are Kemp's best marks against any team.

Notes from the scorebook

• After setting Major League records by suffering three straight shutouts and going 30 straight scoreless innings to open the season, the Padres have scored 29 runs over the past 15 innings at Coors Field. After going 11-for-92 in the three games to open the season against the Dodgers at Petco Park, the Padres have gone 37-for-88 at Coors Field with five doubles, a triple and six homers. In two games, the Padres' team batting average has jumped from .120 to .267, the on-base percentage has climbed from .138 to .316 and the slugging percentage has soared from .141 to .400. OPS after three games: .279. OPS after five games: .716. Go figure.

• The Padres suffered a major loss in Saturday night's 16-3 win when third baseman Yangervis Solarte departed the game with a right hamstring strain. Solarte had hit safely in four of the Padres first five games and was off to a 6-for-16-start with three doubles and four RBIs. He had also drawn three walks. Adam Rosales is the immediate heir apparent at third until Solarte returns.

• The Padres wasted no time getting 6-foot-3, 26-year-old, left-handed reliever Brad Hand into a game. He joined the Padres Saturday after being claimed on waivers from Miami on Friday. He struck out a hitter in a perfect eighth inning Saturday night. Hand was a second-round pick of the Marlins in 2008. Twelve of his 38 appearances in 2015 came as a starter.

• Former Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz picked up his first win as a Padre in his debut for San Diego. Pomeranz allowed two runs on four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in five innings. Prior to Saturday night, Pomeranz was 2-7 with a 4.40 earned run average in 19 games (15 starts) at Coors Field.