SAN DIEGO (AP) — Matt Kemp’s two-run double in the first inning was all James Shields needed for his first victory of the season.
A hard-luck loser his last time out who hasn’t received much run support this year, the San Diego Padres’ starter pitched well enough for a 2-1 victory Monday night against the Colorado Rockies, who got 11 strikeouts from Jon Gray.
"It feels good," Shields said. "I felt like for the most part I was pitching well. Overall it was a good game. The defense came through. It was nice the guys gave me the 2-0 lead."
Shields (1-4) allowed one run while scattering nine hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked two.
"I feel I didn’t give up that many because of the kind of hits they were," said Shields, who allowed eight singles and a double.
The Padres took a quick lead against Gray after their first four batters reached. Jon Jay and Wil Myers singled, and Kemp doubled them in.
That was enough for Shields, hurt by lousy run support this year. He had received just five runs of support in his previous five starts. The right-hander was coming off a tough defeat at San Francisco on Tuesday, when he allowed three hits in a 1-0 loss to Johnny Cueto.
Shields gave up a two-out RBI double to Nick Hundley in the fourth, which was preceded by the Padres’ third double play of the night.
"We got him some runs quick, gave him a lead," manager Andy Green said.
The Padres got three scoreless innings from the bullpen, which has had some misadventures this year. Ryan Buchter got four outs, Brandon Maurer two and Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
"The seven-eight-nine combination was nice," Green said, noting that he kept Buchter in to face Carlos Gonzalez to open the eighth, with the left-hander striking out the slugger before Maurer entered.
"That was a nice inning," Green added. "I’ve loved Buchter from the first time I saw him. He’s pitched himself into that role. `’
The Rockies had other scoring chances against Shields but failed to capitalize. DJ LeMahieu reached third with two outs in the third before rookie Trevor Story grounded out. LeMahieu was thrown out trying to steal third to end the fifth. Gerardo Parra reached third with two outs in the sixth before Ben Paulsen flied out.
Gray (0-1) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He walked one. His 11 strikeouts came a day after Clayton Kershaw struck out 14 and threw a three-hitter in a 1-0 victory against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
"No one’s ever pleased with strikeouts," Green said.
Gray "was outstanding," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Even the runs they got in the first inning were just well-placed hits. I thought he threw the ball extremely well. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get him a win. He doesn’t have his first win yet, but if he pitches like that he’s going to get a lot of wins."
It was the third start for Gray, who opened the season on the disabled list with an abdominal strain.
"I feel good about everything physically. End results, you know, disappointed," he said, noting that he twice failed to get a bunt down.
"But I’m just glad I could cruise through innings and hopefully feed off that."
Padres LHP Robbie Erlin, on the disabled list since April 18, had an MRI on his strained left elbow.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler (0-0, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start of the season, and second appearance, after being recalled from Triple-A.
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-2, 4.94) starts Tuesday night. He’ll look to bounce back from his outing at San Francisc on Wednesday, when he lasted only 2 2/3 innings.