Wednesday, July 09, 2014
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Behind Blackmon's homer, Rockies edge Padres

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[July 09, 2014]  DENVER -- Runs are scarce lately for the struggling Colorado Rockies, and their offense struggled again Tuesday night.

For a change, the Rockies' pitching was solid, and Colorado beat the San Diego Padres 2-1.

It was just the second win in nine games for the Rockies, who scored a mere 12 runs in their seven losses over that stretch. Colorado was in a 3-18 skid before Tuesday, its pitchers compiling a 6.48 ERA during that span.

Rockies All-Star right fielder Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer off Padres All-Star right-hander Tyson Ross in the third. That proved to be enough for left-hander Franklin Morales (5-4) and four relievers. The Colorado bullpen threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings, with LaTroy Hawkins pitching the ninth for his 16th save.

Blackmon lifted a 2-2 slider that was not far off the ground into the right field stands for his 13th home run. It was his first homer in 90 at-bats since June 12.

"If he didn't swing, it probably would have been a ball," Ross said. "I threw the pitch that I wanted there with two strikes. He's an All-Star; he put a good swing on it, and the ball got out."

Ross' slider is his best pitch, but Blackmon said that was not what he was expecting in a 2-2 situation.
 


"I know he has a good slider," Blackmon said. "I was looking for a fastball, and that's why I was kind of a little out in front, but I was able to stay on it. It wasn't a bad pitch by any means."

Padres pinch hitter Seth Smith doubled with two outs in the ninth. Left fielder Corey Dickerson had the ball as he tried to make a sprawling catch, only to have the ball slip out as he raised his glove.

Dickerson fell on his wrist and was examined by trainer Keith Dugger but stayed in the game. After the brief delay, Hawkins got right fielder Chris Denorfia to fly out on his next pitch to end the game.

X-rays were negative on Dickerson, who had ice on his wrist after the game. He said the joint was sore but the strength in his wrist checked out fine.

Morales worked 5 2/3 innings, leaving after he gave up a homer to catcher Rene Rivera on his 98th pitch, a blast that cut the Rockies' lead in half. Morales gave up his third walk to start the inning but got first baseman Tommy Medica to ground into a double play before Rivera hit his sixth homer of the season.

Morales, who began the season as the Rockies' fourth starter, has bounced between the rotation and the bullpen. He returned to the rotation Thursday, taking the place of injured Jhoulys Chacin.

Rockies right-hander Brooks Brown retired the one batter he faced in the sixth. Lefty Rex Brothers gave up two singles in the seventh but ended the inning by getting third baseman Chase Headley to fly out.

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Colorado right-hander Adam Ottavino gave up an opposite-field, broken-bat single to left to pinch hitter Jake Goebbert with one out in the eighth and threw a wild pitch. However, Ottavino struck out Rivera and broke second baseman Brooks Conrad's bat as he grounded out, setting the stage for Hawkins.

The Padres won six of their previous eight games and 11 of their previous 18. They fell to 17-10 in one-run games. The Rockies improved to 13-14 in such contests.

Ross (7-9) threw six innings of two-run ball, allowing six hits and no walks while recording six strikeouts. It was the 13th time in his past 17 starts that he worked at least six innings. Ross yielded three homers to left-handed hitters in 217 at-bats this season before Blackmon connected.

"I felt pretty strong. I had a good rhythm. I was hitting my spots early in counts," said Ross, who has issued two walks in 29 innings in his past four starts. "With the exception of the two-run homer, I think it was a pretty good game. You have to look at what they did on the other side. (Morales) pitched a great game. He held us to one run, and that was the difference in the game."

NOTES: The Rockies recalled OF/1B Kyle Parker from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned LHP Yohan Flande to the same club. ... Rockies RHP Eddie Butler (right shoulder inflammation) threw 58 pitches in three innings in a simulated game. If he checks out fine Wednesday, Butler could be sent out on a rehab assignment. ... Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez is expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday. He had a benign tumor removed from his left index finger June 10, and he played his second game on a rehab assignment Tuesday with Colorado Springs. ... Padres manager Bud Black said he hopes to have 2B Jedd Gyorko (left foot plantar fasciitis) back in a couple weeks. Gyorko, out since early June, is rehabilitating at the Padres' facility in Peoria, Ariz. ... RHP Tyson Ross is the 10th starting pitcher in Padres history to be named an All-Star and the first since RHPs Jake Peavy and Chris Young in 2007.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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