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09/12/09 3:00 AM ET

Rogers to make debut under fire

Colorado (82-60) at San Diego (63-79), 8:05 p.m. MT

SAN DIEGO -- In the midst of an eight-game winning streak and a playoff chase, the Rockies will turn to a rookie making his Major League debut on Saturday in San Diego.

Esmil Rogers looks to continue Colorado's hot stretch when he takes the mound for the first time in a big league venue. The Rockies dramatic comeback on Friday night gave the club its 10th win in 11 games.

Rogers was in the Rockies' clubhouse before Friday's game at PETCO Park, and he discussed how he received the news that he was on his way to the Majors.

"The manager called me in, and I wondered what happened," Rogers said. "They told me, 'You're going to the big leagues, and you're not going to be in Triple-A any more.' [Thursday] they told me I was going to start [Saturday]."

The pressure of a pennant race did not appear to intimidate the young right-hander, who when asked whether he would be able to sleep Friday night, smiled and said, "We'll see."

Rogers also had time to contact some friends and family when he got the news.

"They were very happy," Rogers said. "Everybody was telling me, 'Congratulations.'"

Whether or not he gets a full night's sleep, the Rockies will be leaning on the 24-year-old Rogers to help them continue a run at the postseason as they trail the National League West-leading Dodgers by two games, but lead the NL Wild Card race by 5 1/2 games over the Giants.

Pitching matchup
COL: RHP Esmil Rogers (Major League debut)
Rogers began the year in standout fashion at Double-A Tulsa, going 8-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts, with 83 strikeouts against 19 walks in 94 1/3 innings. His numbers were not nearly as impressive in 12 games, including 11 starts, at Triple-A Colorado Springs. There were five extremely bad games in which he gave up 31 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings. The rest were decent or better. Rogers, 24, played shortstop for three years in the Rockies' chain before moving to the mound in 2006.

SD: RHP Tim Stauffer (4-6, 3.49 ERA)
Stauffer was very good against the Dodgers on Sunday, allowing one earned run in 6 2/3 innings. He has gone 6 2/3 in each of last two starts after going five frames in each of his previous five. Against the Dodgers, Stauffer got 11 ground-ball outs and walked one. "Stauffer has been pretty steady since he joined the rotation," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Right-hander Jose Contreras, who left Thursday's game with a right quadriceps strain, was still experiencing soreness on Friday, according to manager Jim Tracy. Contreras is unlikely to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday in San Francisco, but Tracy was noncommittal about who will take Contreras' turn in the rotation. It could be Friday's starter, Jorge De La Rosa, who would have normal rest by Wednesday should he get the call. "My gut tells me right now that we'll lean strongly in the direction of De La Rosa, especially with days off coming up," Tracy said. "If in fact that would be the option that we choose, we certainly could use him." De La Rosa was scheduled to pitch Friday, and if Contreras' injury improves, he could get that start instead. ... Two injured starters, Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis threw bullpen sessions on Friday, and Tracy awaited the results of Cook's session in particular as the right-hander may be nearing a return. Before he does rejoin the team, however, Cook will likely make a rehab appearance or pitch a simulated game. "Seeing hitters is obviously something that definitely comes into play with regards to him," Tracy said. "I think that we've got to take first things first, and number one, how is he throwing in his bullpen."

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Up next
• Sunday: Rockies (Jason Marquis, 15-10, 3.65) at Padres (Clayton Richard, 8-5, 4.88), 2:05 p.m. MT
• Monday: Rockies (Jason Hammel, 8-7, 4.31) at Giants (TBD), 8:15 p.m. MT
• Tuesday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 13-10, 3.32) at Giants (TBD), 8:15 p.m. MT

Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.