Heath Bell blew a save for the second straight night, and this time his teammates were able to pick him up.
Pinch-hitter Nick Hundley drew a bases-loaded walk with one out in the 10th inning and the San Diego Padres beat NL wild-card leader Colorado 3-2 on Saturday night, snapping the Rockies‘ eight-game winning streak.
Colorado has a 5 1/2-game lead in the wild-card race over San Francisco and Florida. The Rockies dropped three games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
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Bell failed for the second straight night to protect a one-run lead, victimized once again by Yorvit Torrealba.
Although he was upset about his fifth blown save, Bell was happy for his teammates.
“It’s going to happen. It’s very unfortunate,” Bell said. “What can I say? They have a good lineup. I made some mistakes yesterday, today I had some bad luck. I’ve been very lucky all year. These guys are picking me up. I came in and they all said, ‘Keep your head up, let’s go. We’ve got you.’
“It’s a proven fact these guys are winners.”
Will Venable opened the 10th against left-hander Franklin Morales (3-1) with a single that ricocheted off the outstretched glove of first baseman Todd Helton and was sacrificed by pinch-hitter Luis Rodriguez. Henry Blanco was intentionally walked and Edgar Gonzalez, pinch-hitting for left-hander Tony Gwynn Jr., walked to load the bases and bring up Hundley. Hundley pumped his right fist after drawing ball four, which brought in Venable.
Hundley said he took some advice from teammate David Eckstein.
“It was really important to kind of slow it down and not expand the zone – get a pitch in that situation that I can handle,” Hundley said. “He’s got really good stuff, and I think expanding it would help him out so it’s going to be really tough on you.”
Earlier this season, Hundley had a game-winning home run against Cincinnati in the 16th inning.
“They’re both nice in their own way,” he said. “Obviously a walkoff home run is going to be a little bit more exciting, but when you get the win against a contending team, a team that’s hot and playing as well and as talented as the Rockies, you can’t ever take that for granted.”
Sean Gallagher (1-0) pitched the 10th for the win.
With the Padres leading 2-1, Brad Hawpe fisted a leadoff single off Bell in the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Dexter Fowler. Fowler stole second and scored on Torrealba’s one-out single back up the middle on a curveball.
On Friday night, Bell was trying to protect a 1-0 lead when Torrealba hit a three-run double with two outs, and the Rockies went on to win 4-1.
“I figured there’s no way he’s going with a first-pitch fastball again,” Torrealba said. “He kind of left it hanging a little bit. I wasn’t really looking for it, I was just trying to be aggressive.”
San Diego had only two hits between the first and 10th innings.
“We pitched great tonight,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “Going back to last night, we lived on the edge offensively. Offensively, we came up short. We did a good job in scratching a run in the ninth inning.”
Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer was in line to win his fourth straight start. Stauffer didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, and surrendered Troy Tulowitzki‘s 25th homer an inning later, a one-out shot to left field on a 2-1 pitch.
Stauffer allowed one run and three hits in six innings, walked four and struck out three.
The blown save got Rockies right-hander Esmil Rogers off the hook for what would have been a loss in his major league debut. The 24-year-old was activated prior to the game. He had split the season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Rogers allowed the first three Padres hitters to reach, and the first two scored. Leadoff batter Everth Cabrera singled, David Eckstein walked and Adrian Gonzalez singled to bring in Cabrera. Chase Headley‘s sacrifice fly brought in Eckstein.
NOTES: The Padres honored Little League World Series champion Park View from nearby Chula Vista. The 12- and 13-year-olds toured the clubhouse, took batting practice and shagged balls in the outfield, and threw out the ceremonial first pitch en masse to Padres players. Each player got a Padres jersey with a No. 1 on the back. Slugger Luke Ramirez played catch with Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez, who grew up in Chula Vista. … Tracy said Rockies closer Huston Street is expected to rejoin the team Monday in San Francisco. Street, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 1, is rehabbing biceps tendinitis. … Torrealba is 14 for 19 (.737) with runners in scoring position since May 29.