The contest seemed like it lasted the better part of a month. In reality, only 3 hours and 19 minutes passed between the first and last pitches on a sunny Labor Day afternoon in San Diego, California, where the Colorado Rockies beat the Padres 6-4. Kyle Kendrick (5-12, 6.25) got the win for the Rockies and contributed a solo home run in the 4th inning off loser Ian Kennedy (8-13, 3.99). 5 members of Colorado’s 40-man bullpen collected “holds,” and John Axford recorded his 20th save.
The Rockies got started in the 1st. Charlie Blackmon led-off with a double and scored when DJ LeMahieu followed with a triple. After red-hot Nolan Arenado popped-out Justin Morneau lined a single to right to plate LeMahieu for a 2-0 Colorado lead. San Diego tied it in the 2nd when Matt Kemp lined a laser into the 1st-floor facade of the Western Metal Supply Company building before Agbayani, in for a break off his Labor Day labor, could even get the fridge open to grab that cold Budweiser.
In the top of the 3rd Blackmon and LeMahieu got it started again with back-to-back singles, and Blackmon scored when Arenado drove a long fly off the left center-field turf and into the stands for a ground-rule double. Kennedy, who struck-out 9, then disposed of Morneau and Kyle Parker on 6 pitches, and had Daniel Descalso down 0-2, but the oft-winning Descalso whacked Kennedy’s third offering toward the right-field wall, where Kemp was circling. The former Dodger circled a bit too much, muffing the catch about a foot down from the top and a foot away from the wall, as LeMahieu and Arenado trotted home for a 5-2 Rockies’ lead, and what would prove to be the decisive runs.
The Padres would peck-away. Kendrick was helped-out by double-plays in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, two hit into by Kemp. San Diego left 2 on in the 4th and 5th, and left them loaded in the 6th, managing only an additional 2 runs on an afternoon they left 7 runners stranded in all. Brooks Brown and Christian Friedrich muddled through the traffic in the 6th, and Justin Miller saved them with a bases-loaded strikeout of Wil Myers. Miller delivered a clean 7th, then Jairo Diaz and Boone Logan worked around a Derek Norris double in the 8th, and Axford used 15 pitches in the 9th to subdue the friars for the win.
The teams get an extra couple hours of rest before the middle match of the 4-game set continues tonight, at 8:10 MDT at Petco Park. Jon Gray gets the start for Colorado against the Padres’ Colin Rea in battle of rookies.