Padres take advantage of Hundley's error, beat Rockies 7-5
DENVER (AP) Coming to the plate in the ninth inning with the score tied and the go-ahead runners on base, pinch-hitter Brett Wallace liked his chances.
Wallace hit a tiebreaking RBI single as the San Diego Padres took advantage of Colorado catcher Nick Hundley's throwing error to score three runs in the ninth inning Saturday night and hand the Rockies their sixth straight loss, 7-5.
''It's tough, but in the same sense, it's a pretty good position to come into,'' Wallace said. ''You have guys in scoring position, makes your job a little bit easier and it's a little bit more of the rhythm to the inning. You're not trying to create something from nothing.''
With the Padres trailing 5-4 in the ninth, Derek Norris greeted closer Tommy Kahnle (0-1) with a double and pinch-hitter Cory Spangenberg reached on an infield hit after a replay review showed he had beaten the throw to first. Melvin Upton Jr. hit a dribbler in front of the plate that Hundley fielded but he overthrew the throw to first, allowing Norris to score the tying run from third.
''That's a play you need to make 100 percent of the time,'' Hundley said. ''There's no excuse for that. You've got to make a play and you give us a chance to win.''
Wallace, batting for reliever Kevin Quackenbush (2-2), followed with his single and Yangervis Solarte added a sacrifice fly as San Diego beat Colorado for the seventh straight time.
Craig Kimbrel got the last three outs for his 33rd save.
''I like the fact that guys on the bench responded - Spangenberg and Wallace,'' Padres manager Pat Murphy said. ''We kind of take Kimbrel for granted but he just keeps doing it. We score late in the ninth, and boom, he's up and gets the job done.''
Jon Gray, the Rockies' first pick and third overall draft selection in 2013, gave up consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly to Matt Kemp to start the game but shut down the Padres the rest of his five-inning, 69-pitch stint. The Rockies continue to have Gray, making his third career start, on an approximately 75-pitch limit.
''His secondary (breaking) stuff was real good tonight,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''I like the fact that he gave up a run early, and then really was in complete control after that.''
Gonzalez Germen relieved Gray to start the sixth and couldn't protect a 3-1 lead. San Diego got an RBI single from Justin Upton and a go-ahead two-run double from Jedd Gyorko.
The Rockies came back in their half of the sixth. After Andrew Cashner walked Carlos Gonzalez and allowed a single to Nolan Arenado, Marc Rzepczynski relieved and Ben Paulsen hit a sacrifice fly to even the score at 4-all.
D.J. LeMahieu reached on an infield single that hit Arenado on the basepaths, resulting in an out, before LeMahieu stole second and went to third on Norris' throwing error, eventually scoring on Hundley's single to put the Rockies ahead 5-4.
Upset after getting tagged out in an eighth-inning rundown trying to steal following a one-out double, Justin Upton slammed his batting helmet to the floor and it bounced up and hit Yonder Alonso in the head. Alonso, who was lifted from the game, was checked by Rockies doctors and found to have no concussion symptoms and will be re-evaluated on Sunday. Said Upton: ''I made a big mistake. I was pretty upset about it. It's childish, man. I got to do better than that.'' Murphy said the show of anger in the dugout was ''unacceptable,'' adding, ''Most of the time showing that kind of anger is not healthy in my mind at all.''
Rockies: RHP Tyler Chatwood threw 15 pitches against batters in a pregame bullpen session that was his first since undergoing reconstructive surgery on his pitching elbow 13 months ago. ... RHP Chad Bettis pitched, on the disabled list since mid-July with right elbow inflammation, pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start at Double-A New Britain earlier Saturday. ... Back soreness sidelined first base coach Eric Young. He was replaced by the special assistant to the general manager, Vinny Castilla.
Padres: RHP Ian Kennedy will be looking to put together consecutive wins after getting the victory in his last start against Cincinnati despite walking six in five innings.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin, winless in his past nine games (eight of them starts), will be seeking his first victory since June 21.