Rodriguez lifts Padres over Rockies
San Diego manager Bud Black had two pinch-hitting options in the ninth inning - a contact hitter in Luis Rodriguez or the free-swinging Edgar Gonzalez.
He went with the first option. It turned out to be a wise choice.
Rodriguez laced a run-scoring single through a drawn-in infield, lifting the Padres to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Given Rodriguez's recent track record, it's a wonder Black picked him. Before his game-winning hit, Rodriguez had struggled as a pinch hitter, going 1 for 19 since the start of 2007.
This time, though, he produced.
"I made the last out last night and I felt so bad," Rodriguez said. "Today, it was a better ending."
Nick Hundley began the inning with a triple into the corner off reliever Manuel Corpas (0-2). He scored easily when Rodriguez's one-out hit scooted through the right side of the infield.
"Look, pinch-hitting is not an easy thing to do," Black said. "Luis showed last year that when he is in the game as a starter, he has a knack of situational hitting with guys on third base. He has done what it's taken to get runs in."
Not bad for a player stopped cold by an allergic reaction to calamari.
He recently missed two games as doctors tried to figure out what was wrong.
"It was scary," Rodriguez said.
For his teammates, too.
"I'd say 15 of us had (calamari), including me," Chase Headley said. "Only Luis got sick. I mean he got really got sick."
Duaner Sanchez (1-0) earned the win despite a rocky eighth and Heath Bell pitched his way around Todd Helton's two-out double in the ninth for his major league-leading eighth save in as many chances.
He got Garrett Atkins to hit into a fielder's choice to end the game, halting the Padres' three-game skid.
Headley had a two-out, RBI single to tie the game at 3 in the eighth after David Eckstein led off with a double.
The slumping Troy Tulowitzki came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, but Sanchez got him to hit into an inning-ending double play.
"I'm definitely upset about it," Tulowitzki said. "I was in a situation to win the game for the team and I didn't come through."
Tulowitzki started his second straight game on the bench, entering as part of a double-switch in the seventh. He singled through the middle, ending an 0-for-19 skid and fueling a rally.
After Dexter Fowler's bunt single moved Tulowitzki to second, Ryan Spilborghs brought him in with a liner to right-center. Fowler scored on Helton's base hit to right to put the Rockies up, 3-2.
The Colorado bullpen couldn't hold the lead, giving up two late runs.
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle was particularly concerned with Corpas and his command.
"They're too high," Hurdle said of his closer's pitches. "They're not where they need to be ... He's not pounding the bottom of the zone as consistently as he needs to."
Chad Gaudin, who was called up from Triple-A Portland on Monday, pitched five scoreless innings in his first start for San Diego. He allowed three hits and struck out five.
"You throw five scoreless innings in this park and we'll take it," Black said.
Notes: The Rockies' official scorer changed the winner of Monday night's game from reliever Jason Grilli to Glendon Rusch (1-0). ... San Diego 1B Adrian Gonzalez stole the first base of his career in the sixth. ... Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa left after six innings due to a blister. He gave up two runs and three hits while striking out six.