SAN DIEGO– The San Diego Padres entered Monday night looking for their first win of the new campaign.
They ended it still looking.
The Colorado Rockies defeated the Padres 7-4 on Monday night in front of 16,899 fans at Petco Park.
Ian Desmond and Charlie Blackmon paced the Colorado offense. Blackmon went 3-5 with his league-leading fourth home run. He scored the first Rockies run after leading off the game with a double, and then homered in the ninth.
Desmond, who was playing first base, had a 2-5 night with a home run and three RBI. He broke a 1-1 tie in the third with an RBI double, and then drove a Bryan Mitchell fastball 399 feet over the center field fence in the fifth for his second home run of the season.
DJ LaMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez also had two hits apiece for the visitors.
On the mound, Rockies starter Chad Bettis was solid but not spectacular. The right-hander threw five innings, giving up five hits and two earned runs. He also walked four. However, he was able to counter the wildness by stranding eight Padres, including the bases loaded in both the second and third innings.
For the home team, Bryan Mitchell struggled against a talented Rockies lineup in his first start as a Padre. He allowed five runs in five frames while being constantly bombarded with baserunners. The former Yankee failed to record a 1-2-3 inning on the night.
Wil Myers, who exited the game in the sixth after a tricep issue popped up, homered in the first.
“I felt it throwing and swinging during the game, and it got to a point where I didn’t feel like I could make a throw back in (to the infield),” Myers said about the injury. “I felt it swinging during batting practice, but I thought I could play through it. The throws I made from the outfield kind of pushed it over the edge.”
Myers and the Padres both said that he will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. An x-ray showed no structural damage.
“It is very frustrating,” Myers stated. “I worked super hard this offseason to play every day and not to come out of any games, so it has been kind of tough.”
Carlos Asuaje and Eric Hosmer, who both recorded multi-hit games, teamed up for the second Padre run with doubles in the third.
In the ninth, Cory Spangenberg hit his second home run of the season. The solo shot was off lefty Chris Rusin and traveled 394 feet. Later on in the inning, Jose Pirela hit a two-out RBI triple to give the remaining fans at Petco Park a glimmer of hope for a possible comeback.
However, Bud Black brought in Wade Davis, his new closer, who quickly retired Carlos Asuaje to end the ballgame. For Davis, it was his first save with his new team.
What we learned:
Trouble throwing strikes
It happened on Saturday with Luis Perdomo, and it happened again tonight with Bryan Mitchell.
Mitchell struggled finding the strike zone early and often against Colorado, walking three and throwing only 49 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Two of the three batters he walked ended up scoring. Most of the damage that the Rockies did off of Mitchell (who gave up five runs on eight hits) came when he was behind in the count.
This is coming a few days after Luis Perdomo walked four and threw only 55 of his 96 pitches for strikes during Saturday’s loss against the Brewers.
It is a trend that Padres pitching does not want to fall into. The starting rotation was a question mark headed into the season, and that question mark has only gotten bigger early on.
Prior to first pitch on Monday, Austin Hedges was scratched with what the team called “upper back tightness.” A.J. Ellis started in his place.
After the game, Andy Green said that Hedges’ back “tightened up on him” earlier in the day. The manager also stated that he is “hoping and expecting” Hedges to be in the lineup tomorrow.
Then, following the fifth inning, Wil Myers was replaced in right field by Hunter Renfroe. Myers, who missed Saturday’s game with what Andy Green called a “sore back,” was deemed healthy enough to play tonight and hit a home run in the first inning. However, an awkward swing in the fourth and a fifth inning in which he looked uncomfortable in the outfield took the right fielder out of the game. It wound up being the aforementioned triceps injury. As for his status for tomorrow’s contest, Andy Green did not sound optimistic:
“We’ll see how he (Myers) responds and how he feels coming into tomorrow.”
Prior to the game, Andy Green updated the status of RHP Dinelson Lamet, who has been nursing a sore elbow. Green stated that the right-hander did undergo an MRI, but the club is not willing to disclose the results at this time.
With a third inning opposite-field double, Eric Hosmer has now recorded a two-base hit in each of his last three games. He added another double in the seventh for good measure. Each one of his four doubles this season have been of the opposite-field variety.
The Friars have dropped their first four games of the season for the first time since 1994.
What’s On Deck:
The Padres continue their series with the Rockies on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. PT. LHP Kyle Freeland will pitch for the Rockies. RHP Tyson Ross is expected to be added to the 25-man roster and start for the Padres.
The game will be televised on FOX Sports San Diego.