That crisp 150 minute Saturday night contest was SO yesterday. Sunday’s see-saw affair went 202. The San Diego Padres were up 3-0 when the Colorado Rockies erupted for 7 in the bottom of the third. San Diego came right-back with 3 in the fourth and retook the lead with 2 in the sixth and one in the seventh. Then Rockies 3rd-baseman Chris Nelson delivered a 3-run homer in Colorado’s half of the seventh, and it held-up thanks to a Padres-aided insurance run in the eighth. The Rockies took the weekend series at Coors Field with an offense-packed 11-10 victory.
Jeff Francis started for Colorado and San Diego made it clear from the start they were not going to buy what he was selling. Logan Forsythe had a ground-single with one out in the first and Chase Headley followed with a line-shot down the left-field line and into the outfield service entrance for a 2-0 lead. In the third Forsythe and Headley collaborated again. The shortstop reached when Francis grazed him on a 2-2 count and stole 2nd in time for Headley to dump a soft liner in front of Carlos Gonzalez to make it 3-0.
Padres’ starter Casey Kelly held the Rockies without a hit in the first and second but walked Jonny Herrera leading-off the third. Francis sacrificed Herrera to second and he scored when Dexter Fowler followed with a soft single to center. Josh Rutledge forced Fowler at second with a double-play grounder, but Forsythe pulled Jesus Guzman off 1st with his relay and things began to fall apart for San Diego. Gonzalez bounced a double over the center-field wall which precluded Rutledge from scoring, but Jordan Pacheco ripped a grounder down the left-field line that plated the two runners and tied the game. Tyler Colvin followed Pacheco with a large 2-run homer to right, Nelson reached when 2nd-baseman Alexi Amarista lost the handle on his grounder, and Ramon Hernandez made the Padres pay with a big fly into the center-field seats. Once Francis stranded Herrera, who had doubled, Colorado, which sent 11 men to bat in the inning, had a 7-4 lead.
Defense immediately failed the Rockies. Nelson threw-late on a cleanly fielded grounder from center-fielder Cameron Maybin, then Gonzalez allowed extra bases to him and Amarista when he booted the single Amarista had driven down the line. Francis was able to strike-out Kelly, but lead-off hitter Chris Denorfia singled to drive-in Maybin. Francis struck-out Forsythe as well, but that brought Headley to the plate to deliver the 4th and 5th of his 6 RBI on the day. Francis was gone after 3 2/3.
Adam Ottavino held the Padres at-bay through the fifth, but Amarista, who went 5 for 5, doubled to open the sixth. Ottavino got Kelly on a popped-up bunt and Denofia on a fly to Fowler, but then it was Forsythe and Headley yet a third time, this one featuring back-to-back run-scoring singles to retake the lead 8-7.
San Diego added a run off Ottavino in the seventh and brought left-hander Tommy Layne on to deal with Colorado lefty-batters Gonzalez and Colvin, scheduled to hit first and third in the bottom of the seventh. The strategy back-fired. Layne hit Gonzalez, the right-handed hitter Pacheco singled to center, and Colvin sacrificed the two to 2nd and 3rd. Padres’ manager Bud Black replaced Layne with right-hander Brad Brach and Nelson launched his third pitch over the center-field wall to put the Rockies up 10-9. After Matt Belisle dispatched San Diego with a perfect eighth Charlie Blackmon hit for him and walked leading-off the bottom of the inning. Brach yanked a pick-off attempt up the 1st base wall, Blackmon advancing all the way to third, and Fowler drove him home with a single for a 2-run Rockies lead.
Closer Rafael Betancourt took the hill for Colorado in the ninth and retired Yasmani Grandal and pinch-hitter Will Venable, but Maybin singled and moved to second on defensive indifference with El Deliberado preferring to stay in the wind-up. Amarista knocked him-in with his fifth single, then veteran Mark Kotsay moved Amarista to 2nd with a pinch single to bring Rockies nemesis Denorfia to bat. Betancourt sucked it up and retired the right-fielder on a grounder to short. The gift run in the eighth held-up.
The Padres head to Los Angeles to make trouble for the Dodgers before heading home for a weekend series against Arizona. Colorado heads in the other direction, to Atlanta for an 11:10 MDT start against red-hot right-hander Kris Medlen, just 22 hours after Sunday afternoon’s start. Tyler Chatwood gets the call for the Rockies.