SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Padres are putting together a strong finish to a shaky homestead.
Brandon Morrow pitched six strong innings and Justin Upton drove in two runs as San Diego handed the Colorado Rockies their fourth straight loss, 4-2 Saturday night.
Matt Kemp had an RBI single in San Diego’s second straight win after losing seven of eight – swept by Houston and dropping three of four to the Dodgers.
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”That was a good team win,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
Morrow (2-0) wriggled out of a jam in the sixth, getting Nick Hundley to groundout with two on. Morrow was charged with two runs and seven hits. He struck out four.
”Brandon pitched very well and he was stressed a couple of times,” Black said. ”But he battled out of it.”
Craig Kimbrel struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save this season and 33rd straight overall.
Kimbrel followed Brandon Maurer after he worked two scoreless innings.
Jorge De La Rosa (0-2), who lost to the Padres last month, allowed three runs on five hits and three walks, one intentional, in five innings. He struck out nine.
”Everything was working good,” he said. ”I mixed my pitches really good.”
Kemp singled in a run in the first, but San Diego fell behind on DJ LeMahieu’s RBI groundout in the second and Charlie Blackmon’s third homer of the season. It was Blackmon’s second extra-base hit, after opening the game with a double.
”We just couldn’t get a timely hit,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said after his team went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. ”Especially in the first … we just couldn’t cash in.”
The Padres took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning on Upton’s one-out, two-run single up the middle. Wil Myers had walked for his second time and Derek Norris reached on his second hit, a double. Upton was thrown out at second when Blackmon’s throw from center field to the plate was cut off.
Myers, who walked twice, had a run-scoring single in the sixth to make it 4-2.
”In those at-bats where I walk they haven’t been giving me anything over the plate to hit,” he said. ”I’m not really getting my pitches right now because I rather swing the bat than walk.”
De La Rosa said the bases on balls were critical. He walked Myers twice to lead off innings and he scored both times.
”It cost me two runs,” De La Rosa said. ”I have to attack the first batter better and get him out quick.”
Weiss agreed: ”Particularly lead-off walks, but walks in general, you put guys on base and sooner or later it’s going to hurt you.”
PADRES BEAT CHARGERS
Maybe the Padres could deliver offensive tips to the Chargers. The Padres beat the Colorado Rockies on Friday night, 14-3 – the second time they won by that score this season. The Chargers couldn’t match the output in their last game with the Denver Broncos on Dec. 14, losing 22-10.
The two Rockies with the best averages, LeMahieu and Corey Dickerson, both have southern roots. LeMahieu started on LSU’s 2009 College World Series title team and Dickerson, a Mississippi native, turned down Mississippi State to sign with Colorado in 2010.
Rockies: Blackmon was back in the lineup after being ill on Friday.
Padres: RHP Joaquin Benoit has what manager Bud Black called ”a dead arm.” But he said Benoit, who usually works the eighth inning, was feeling better. … RHP Shawn Kelley, on the DL with a strained left calf, will pitch twice next week with Triple-A El Paso.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Kendrick (1-3, 8.36) has lost three of his past four decisions. After winning on opening day, Kendrick is 0-3 with a 11.14 ERA in four starts.
Padres: RHP James Shields (2-0, 2.90) will try to win his third straight decision. He’s coming off a no-decision against the Astros where he had a season-high 12 strikeouts.