When you’re playing the highest-scoring team in the National League, mistakes will kill you. The Colorado Rockies were reminded of that the hard way on Tuesday night at Coors Field.
San Diego parlayed a hit batsman and some timely hitting into a four-run eighth inning as the Padres sent the Rockies to their fifth consecutive defeat with a 7-6 decision before 22,600 fans.
Trailing 5-3 heading into the inning, San Diego’s Will Middlebrooks opened the inning with a single. One out later, Colorado reliever Boone Logan was brought into the game and had a 1-2 count on Yonder Alonso before plunking him with a pitch.
Yangervis Solarte followed with an RBI single to score Middlebrooks and pull San Diego within 5-4. After a fielder’s choice, Wil Myers singled to plate Solarte and tie the game. The next batter, Derek Norris, drilled a 3-1 pitch to deep right center for a two-run double to break the deadlock and give the Padres a 7-5 edge.
“I’ll take Boone in that situation every time,” said Colorado manager Walt Weiss. “I felt like the inning was set up for Boone but they found a way to get some hits.”
Myers and Norris would be two of the Rockies’ main thorns on Tuesday night, with the duo combining to go 5-for-9 with four RBIs.
Logan would give up three runs in two-thirds of an inning to take the loss but the Rockies didn’t go down quietly.
Trailing 7-5 heading into the ninth and facing San Diego closer Craig Kimbrel, leadoff hitter Nick Hundley blasted a 1-0 pitch into the right field seats to slice the Padre lead to 7-6.
The blast capped a 2-for-4, two-RBI night for Hundley.
“Nick did a good job in that last inning,” Weiss said. “That was a tough game for us to lose, but I thought our guys battled to the very end.”
That, however, would be the last surge for the Rockies, who fell to 7-7 on the season.
While San Diego’s offense Colorado and starting pitcher Tyler Matzek had already escaped trouble several times earlier in the night, especially in the fifth inning.
Matzek issued a career-high six walks in five innings of work, including a pair to Clint Barmes and Brandon Morrow to open the fifth inning. That, however, would be the start of Matzek’s great escape act.
After Barmes and Morrow reached base, Myers followed with a single to right. Carlos Gonzalez fielded the ball cleanly and came up firing, with his throw beating Barmes to home plate to record the first out of the inning after a short rundown.
Norris loaded the bases after reaching on an error, bringing Matt Kemp to the plate. Matzek, however, coerced Kemp into an inning-ending double play to squash the threat.
Early on, it looked like another night of trouble for the Rockies pitching staff. After posting 73 runs through their first 14 games, it didn’t take long for San Diego (10-5) to once again flex its offensive muscles. Barmes, once a member of the Rockies, blasted a 1-0 pitch from Matzek into the left-field seats to give the Padres a 1-0 edge.
Later in the inning, Norris doubled and Kemp followed with a single to push the San Diego lead to 2-0.
Colorado would knot the game at 2-2 in the fourth as Justin Morneau lined a one-out single, Hundley followed with a triple that just eluded the diving Kemp in right field, and DJ LaMahieu brought Hundley home with a groundout.
The Rockies would take the lead one inning later as the first three Colorado batters reached base safely, including Charlie Blackmon’s RBI triple that scored Matzek and Rafael Ynoa. Troy Tulowitzki’s sacrifice fly plated Blackmon to give the Rockies a 5-2 lead.