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Rockies Break Through To Top Padres

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[April 18, 2014]  SAN DIEGO  After being no-hit over the first five innings, the Colorado Rockies broke through for three runs in the seventh inning against San Diego right-hander Ian Kennedy on Thursday afternoon to defeat the Padres 3-1 and gain a split of their four-game National League West series at Petco Park.

Kennedy retired the first 12 Rockies he faced before walking shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to open the fifth. An inning later, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado stopped Kennedy's no-hit bid with a lead-off double that struck the third-base bag.

In the seventh, however, the Rockies broke through to erase a 1-0 Padres lead.

"Kennedy didn't miss a spot for the first five innings," said Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer. "For us to take advantage of a small opening was huge."

With one out in the seventh, Rockies left fielder Corey Dickerson doubled inside the bag at third ahead of a second straight walk to Tulowitzki.

First baseman Justin Morneau followed with a liner to right that sailed over the glove of Padres right fielder Chris Denorfia for a game-tying double. Tulowitzki scored the go-ahead run on catcher Wilin Rosario's grounder to short. Arenado singled to left to score Morneau.

"Ian threw great, he deserved better," said Padres manager Bud Black.


There were two key plays in the Rockies' game-winning rally  Morneau's double and Rosario's grounder.

"I should have caught it," said Denorfia. "It had a little bit of a funky knuckleball spin. I took a bad first step and it was over my head."

Not only did that hit tie the score, it put Rockies at second and third with one out. Lack opted not to play his infield in to protect against the potential game-winning run  which scored on Rosario's grounder to short, which would have been the third out if Denorfia had caught Morneau's line drive.

"I feel bad because Ian pitched good and we couldn't get anything going offensively," said the Padres Xavier Nady, whose 378-foot homer to left leading off the fourth accounted for the Padres only run.

Other than giving up Nady's homer, Rockies left-handed starter Franklin Morales matched Kennedy.

Morales, who replaced the injured Brett Anderson in the Rockies rotation, allowed only three other hits over six innings. He walked one while striking out five. Morales is 1-1 and his ERA fell from 6.39 to 4.82 Thursday.

"Morales was effectively wild," said Denofia. "It was hard to execute a game plan against him."

Kennedy fell to 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in as many innings.

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"I threw well the first six innings," said Kennedy. "I was getting ahead and making good pitches. It's nice to execute like that. The seventh was frustrating. But if I throw like that every game, I'll be happy."

After Tulowitzki's walk in the fifth, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera then made the second of two outstanding plays that supported Kennedy's no-hit bid through five innings, making a leaping catch of Morneau's looping liner that was headed toward the grass in left field.

Kennedy got out of the fifth by getting Rosario to ground into a double play started by third baseman Alexi Amarista.

In the sixth, Arenado was sacrificed to third on a bunt by DJ LeMahieu. But Kennedy struck out pitching rival Morales then got center fielder Charlie Blackmon to ground out to third.

Earlier in the game, Amarista, who started a second straight game at third because Chase Headley is sidelined with a strained right biceps muscle, charged a third-inning bunt by LeMahieu and threw the Rockie out by a half-step.

NOTES: Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez got Thursday off because he was 2-for-29 lifetime against Padres starter Ian Kennedy ... Padres brought Triple-A INF Ryan Jackson to San Diego to have injured right wrist re-evaluated. It could require surgery ... Padres 3B Chase Headley missed second straight start with right biceps strain and Padres manager Bud Black lists him as day-to-day, although disabled list has been discussed. Headley did single as a pinch-hitter ... Rockies RF Michael Cuddyer left the game in the seventh with a mild hamstring pull.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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