Richards homers, helps pitch Padres over Rockies 7-6
DENVER (AP) — Pitcher Clayton Richard’s no-doubt, three-run homer that reached the second deck at Coors Field helped the San Diego Padres withstand Carlos Gonzalez’s disputed home run for the Colorado Rockies.
Richard connected for his third career homer as part of a five-run fourth inning in San Diego’s 7-6 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
He drove the first pitch he saw from Jon Gray (1-2) above the Rockies bullpen in right-center. Carlos Asuaje followed Richard with a home run, the second time this season the Padres have gone deep in successive at-bats.
“Clayton really got us going (offensively),” Padres manager Andy Green said. “That’s not actually what you expect to happen. That ball was absolutely crushed.”
Richard, who last homered Aug. 27 at Miami, said his towering home run was pretty much a stroke of good fortune.
“I got lucky. Let’s be real,” he said.
Richard (1-1) allowed four runs in five innings. Brad Hand struck out the side in the ninth for his third save.
Ian Desmond, Chris Iannetta and Gonzalez homered for the Rockies. Gonzalez’s two-run drive came in the sixth off Jordan Lyles, pulled the Rockies within 7-6 and led to the ejection of Padres manager Andy Green.
Left fielder Cory Spangenberg made a leaping attempt at the wall and actually had the ball in his glove for an instant, even as a fan tried simultaneously to make a barehanded catch. The fan appeared to make some contact with the glove and may have even gotten a hand in the mitt before backing his hands away as Spangenberg dropped back to the ground.
Spangenberg’s dangling glove hit the top of the wall and the ball bounced out, dropping into the stands. The homer was upheld on replay review, and Green was ejected after vehemently arguing over what he saw as fan interference.
“I’ve had calls overturned on us plenty of times when a fan’s finger or hands were over the railing and they touched the player’s glove or the ball and both of those things happened,” Green said.
Spangenberg, with his back to the wall, played the ball well and timed his jump perfectly. He was dumbfounded when he came back down to the ground and realized the ball wasn’t in his glove.
“I felt it go in my glove and as I was bringing it back I felt something un-lodge it,” he said. “I went to throw it back in and I realized it wasn’t there. ... From my perspective, I thought I saw and felt a hand touch the ball but I guess that’s not what they saw. It was a big home run at the time but we were able to escape with a win and that’s that counts.”
Gonzalez said he thought the ball was going to clear the fence by a little more.
“But Spangenberg did a good job,” Gonzalez said. “He was playing deep and he got to the spot quick and he made the catch. When he was coming down, it looks like on the video he dunked the ball, like that was an alley oop or something. I got lucky on that one. It really gave the team momentum but it was a tough loss.”
Gray opened impressively, striking out the side in the first, but then quickly got into trouble. He gave up four singles around a double play, including Manuel Margot’s RBI hit in the second, and was tagged for five runs in the fourth.
Gray, who allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings, said he felt he pitched pretty well overall, though he wished he could have the pitch back that he threw to Richard.
“Just a pitch up. That’s all I can say,” he said. “If it would’ve been down, it would’ve been fine. That’s all I had to do was throw a fastball down but didn’t get it there. It cost me.”
Padres: Placed RHP Kirby Yates on the 10-day disabled list with right ankle tendinitis, retroactive to Sunday. LHP Buddy Baumann was recalled from Triple-A El Paso to shore up the bullpen. “We were looking at three, four, maybe five days before he felt comfortable going out there again, and coming out here to Colorado, we didn’t want to run into it with a short bullpen,” Green said.
Rockies: CF Charlie Blackmon was back in the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a back injury. He was taken out of Saturday night’s game in the 10th inning because of back spasms. “I’m glad it cleared up quickly,” Blackmon said earlier Monday. “One game (off) here and there is sometimes a necessity.” ... RHP Jeff Hoffman, on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, is slated to make his first rehab start Tuesday for Class A Lancaster.
Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (0-0) is slated to make his first career start on the road.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (0-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his previous outing against the Padres, though he came away with a no-decision.