Notes: Helton happy to head home

Notes: Helton happy to head home

SAN DIEGO -- You'd think Rockies first baseman Todd Helton would be happy to get off the road.

Going into Wednesday's game against the Padres to end a nine-game road trip, Helton was hitting .237 with one homer and six RBIs on the road. He's batting .317 with two homers and 10 RBIs at home.

Frankly, it's a subpar year for Helton both places. Helton's leadership of a young squad has not been questioned, and it's true the stomach ailment that cost Helton two weeks of action disturbed his season. But overall numbers of .272 with three homers and 16 RBIs are not what fans expect of a player earning $16.6 million.

So there are positive elements of returning to Coors Field, where the Rockies will play the Marlins on Friday night to open a nine-game homestand. But Helton realizes that when he's on, he can hit anywhere, and that's what he needs to do.

"It's always good to go back home, sleep in your own bed, and hopefully to win some ballgames," said Helton, who hit a home run in his second at-bat on Wednesday. "I don't pay that much attention to who we're playing and where we're playing. I'm just concerned about winning.

"I don't worry about records on the road and all that stuff. I don't get caught up in all that. I worry about too much stupid stuff as it is."

This week, manager Clint Hurdle complimented Helton on sticking with one strategy to correct his hitting woes, instead of switching gears when something doesn't go right.

"We'll see," Helton said. "Either I'm hot or I'm getting hot, right?"

Back to Spilborghs: After starting Cory Sullivan in center field on Tuesday night, when the Padres' Chris Young gave up just an eighth-inning double to Brad Hawpe in his eight innings, Hurdle went back to Ryan Spilborghs on Wednesday.

Since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday, Spilborghs is 3-for-11 with a home run, a triple and three RBIs.

"'Spilly's been hot," Hurdle said. "I feel like he gives us our best chance [against Padres starter Clay Hensley on Wednesday]."

Sick bay: Backup catcher Miguel Ojeda is the latest person in the Rockies organization to come down with a stomach flu that has hit no fewer than 12 members of the club's roster, coaching staff and athletic training staff. He was kept at the team hotel on Wednesday.

Religion and the Rockies: A front-page story in the USA Today newspaper detailed how Christian values guide the Rockies' franchise from the top down.

Hurdle emphasized one of the points of the story, that the club does not exclude non-Christians.

"Are we looking for Christians? No. We're looking for men of character, men of skill," Hurdle said. "It's not a question that's ever been brought up."

The story said men's magazines that show nudity or promote women in skimpy outfits are not to be found in the clubhouse. That's not necessarily the case, although Hurdle said the fact they're rarely in the clubhouse is fine with him.

Up next: After an off-day on Thursday, right-hander Josh Fogg (3-3, 4.45 ERA) will face Marlins lefty Dontrelle Willis (1-6, 4.93 ERA) at Coors Field on Friday at 7:05 p.m. MT.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.