DENVER (AP) One of the knuckles on the middle finger of Jorge De La Rosa’s pitching hand was swollen. His sore back was acting up.
From the mound, though, there was no hint of pain.
De La Rosa carried a no-hitter through six innings and pitched seven scoreless innings, as the Colorado Rockies withstood a late rally to beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Friday night.
”It’s always something with me,” said De La Rosa, who missed nearly half the 2010 season because of a pulled finger tendon and came back from Tommy John surgery in late 2012.
”Today my finger was bothering me a little bit from the time I was in the bullpen. My back, just when I ran, I felt it a little bit more. It was bothering me but I’ve pitched with pain before and I know I can keep pitching with this kind of pain. I’ll be good for my next start, too.”
De La Rosa’s bid for the first no-hitter by a Rockies pitcher at Coors Field ended in the seventh inning, when Chris Denorfia led off with a triple off the scoreboard in right field, just the second time a Padres batter had gotten the ball out of the infield to that point.
But De La Rosa stranded Denorfia by retiring the next three batters, getting Everth Cabrera on an infield grounder, Chase Headley on a liner to second and Carlos Quentin on a pop-up to blank the Padres on one hit through seven innings.
”Everything was working really good and I wasn’t overthrowing the ball today. I was hitting my spots,” De La Rosa said.
De La Rosa, who was pitching on eight days’ rest because of a bout of back spasms, struck out five and walked one in winning his fifth straight since an 0-3 start.
”He had command of three pitches. Anytime a pitcher can command three pitches, it’s going to be tough to get consistent hits off of him, and that was the case today,” Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko said. ”He threw the ball well.”
Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan kept the Padres in check through the eighth and LaTroy Hawkins got his 10th save in as many chances despite giving up three hits in the ninth, including an RBI single by Headley.
”That was something that we really needed because our offense has been kind of quiet for the past couple days,” Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez said. ”It was nice to see a pitching performance like that. Jorge is the No. 1 pitcher that we have and he really competed. He gave us just what we were looking for and hopefully it can get us going.”
The only no-hitter at Coors Field was on Sept. 17, 1996, by Hideo Nomo in a 9-0 Los Angeles Dodgers’ win over the Rockies.
Ubaldo Jimenez has the only no-hitter by a Rockies pitcher, at Atlanta in a 4-0 win on April 17, 2010.
Padres starter Eric Stults was matching De La Rosa until Drew Stubbs doubled down the third base line with one out in the fourth inning for the game’s first hit.
The Rockies went on top in the bottom of the fifth, taking advantage of a fielding error by Gyorko to score an unearned run. D.J LeMahieu’s two-out double advanced Jordan Pacheco, aboard on a fielder’s choice, to third. De La Rosa bounced a grounder to second that Gyorko bobbled, allowing De La Rosa to beat the throw to first and Pacheco to score the first run.
Colorado made it 2-0 in the seventh with De La Rosa helping out by sacrificing LeMahieu, who had singled, to second. Charlie Blackmon followed with a two-out RBI single, and Stults was relieved by Nick Vincent.
Pacheco added a run-scoring single in the eighth.
Stults (2-4) allowed two runs – one earned – and six hits in 6 2-3 innings in losing to the Rockies for the first time in four decisions covering 13 lifetime appearances.
NOTES: Rockies C Wilin Rosario, on the 15-day DL because of a viral infection, had a rehab start Friday night at Triple-A Colorado Springs and could be activated as soon as Sunday. … Stults has allowed three or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts. However, he fell to 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA as a visiting pitcher this season. … De La Rosa has won eight of his last nine decisions against the Padres. … Home plate umpire Seth Buckminster tossed the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado in the eighth for arguing balls and strikes.