Padres fall 5-2 to Rockies

SAN DIEGO– A night after scoring eight runs, the Padres were held in check by starter Jon Gray and the Rockies pitching staff, falling 5-2 in front of 19,698 at Petco Park.

Gray was magnificent from the get-go on Wednesday, allowing only four hits (two to Cory Spangenberg) in seven shutout innings of work. The right-hander, who came into the game with a 2.40 ERA against San Diego in 10 starts, struck out seven and did not walk a hitter.

Padres starter Clayton Richard was unable to match Gray in his second start of the season. Five batters into the top of the first, the Rockies had already taken a 3-0 lead via an RBI double by Nolan Arenado and a two-run double by Trevor Story.

Colorado added two runs in the second, this time with Ian Desmond delivering the blow. With the bases loaded and two outs, the left fielder grounded a base hit up the middle to score Charlie Blackmon and DJ LaMahieu.

It ended up being all the Rockies needed, as the two teams exchanged zeroes until the bottom of the eighth. The Friars pushed two across in the penultimate frame with the help of a Rockies error and an RBI single by pinch hitter Hunter Renfroe.

Wade Davis came in for the ninth inning and recorded a scoreless inning for his second save in three days to improve Colorado’s record to 3-3.

San Diego fell to 1-5.

Fresh off signing a new six-year, $108 million contract, center fielder Charlie Blackmon was one of three Rockies with multi-hit games. He went 2-5 and scored two runs. DJ LaMahieu (2-5, 2R) and Ian Desmond (2-4, 2RBI) were the other two.

For San Diego, Carlos Asuaje and Cory Spangenberg each went 2-4 in the loss.

What we learned

Richard struggles with the Rox

Coming into Wednesday’s game, Clayton Richard had nine career starts against Colorado at Petco Park. The numbers were very good, too: 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA.

Hopes of another strong outing faded quickly tonight, though. Five batters into the game, Richard had already allowed three runs on five hits. The southpaw allowed two more runs in the second inning to put his team in a 5-0 hole early. He did turn in three scoreless innings after the second, but the damage had already been done.

“It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. Unfortunately just the balls in play were hit hard enough on the ground, the broken bat double down the line,” Richard stated after the game. “Stuff was mid-thigh as opposed to below the knees, and when you are facing a good offensive club like that (the Rockies), they are going to do some damage.”

After a strong Opening Day showing against the Brewers, Richard was unable to replicate his success. His final line: five innings, eight hits, five earned runs, three walks, six strikeouts.
Night off for Margot

After starting the season’s first five games and going 2-20 at the plate, the 23-year-old got tonight off. Matt Szczur started in his place tonight in center.

San Diego is obviously hoping that the rest will help Margot, who has struggled to open the season out of the leadoff spot. Usually, as Margot goes, as does the offense.

Good news and bad news on the injury front
Austin Hedges was able to start tonight at catcher for the Padres after missing the two games prior. He showed no signs that of the back tightness that he had been dealing with. That is the good news.

The bad news? Right fielder Wil Myers was placed on the 10-day DL prior to first pitch with what the Padres are calling “right arm nerve irritation.” The club is optimistic that Myers will only need to serve the 10 days, and nothing more.

What’s on deck:

The Padres will look for a series split tomorrow afternoon at Petco Park as they wrap up their first homestand of the season. They will send LHP Joey Lucchesi to the mound. The Rockies will start LHP Tyler Anderson.
First pitch will be at 12:40 p.m. PT.