Rockies lose 5th straight game, 8-6 to Padres in homer fest
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Other than driving seven balls out of Petco Park, the Colorado Rockies didn’t have much to show for their weekend in San Diego.
Light-hitting Jedd Gyorko drove a two-run homer an estimated 438 feet, and Justin Upton and Derek Norris also hit two-run shots for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Colorado Rockies 8-6 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.
Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each homered twice for Colorado, which has lost five straight and six of seven.
“We’re not a very good team right now,” Arenado said. “That team is better than us right now. We need to get better. We need to do everything — pitch better, hit better with men on base. All around, we are not very good right now. We need to start changing it up because losing gets contagious and people start to get out of it. We need to start winning.”
Gyorko, whose .145 average has basically relegated him to a platoon situation at second base, was pinch hitting in the pitcher’s spot when he connected off Brooks Brown for a drive almost to the base of the batter’s eye in straightaway center field in the sixth.
It was the first homer for Gyorko this year and gave him five RBIs. Gyorko has struggled since signing a $35 million contract extension early in the 2014 season, which was just his second in the big leagues.
Upton homered, hit two doubles and drove in three runs for the Padres, rebounded after being swept by the Houston Astros and losing two of three to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Spacious Petco Park played like a bandbox during the nine-game homestand, with the Dodgers, Astros and Rockies combining for 20 homers, while the Padres hit 10.
Both of Arenado’s homers were off James Shields. He has six.
“Thank God today I had a good game. But I haven’t been feeling like myself, either,” Arenado said.
“It’s so early in the season,” he added. “We still have over 130 games left. Our big guys haven’t got hot yet. They are playing good, but not playing as well as we know they can. It’s just a matter of time.”
Blackmon homered on Shields’ third pitch of the game and then homered off closer Craig Kimbrel with one out in the ninth, his fifth.
Shields (3-0) went 5 1-3 innings, his shortest start of the year, and allowed five runs and nine hits while striking out seven and walking none.
Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his eighth save in as many chances.
Kyle Kendrick (1-4) allowed six runs and six hits in five innings.
Upton hit a two-run homer in the first, his seventh. He doubled in the fourth and was aboard for Norris’ homer in the fourth. Norris doubled in Cory Spangenberg with the go-ahead run in the fifth.
Arenado homered leading off the fourth and hit a two-run shot in the fifth.
The Padres thought they got out of the fifth with a double play, but Rockies manager Walt Weiss challenged the out call at first base and won. Arenado drove the next pitch into the seats in left to tie the game at 5.
Rockies: Kendrick was moved up a day to give LHP Tyler Matzek extra rest after he left his last start with cramping in his left hamstring.
Padres: Reliever Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect eighth. Before the game, manager Bud Black said Benoit was showing signs of a dead arm and was a candidate for the disabled list.
Rockies: Matzek (2-0, 2.70) will try to beat Arizona in consecutive starts when he goes Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Denver. The Diamondbacks counter with RHP Josh Collmenter.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (1-2, 4.55) looks to beat the Giants for the second time this season when he’s scheduled to open a three-game series Monday night at San Francisco, which counters with LHP Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 3.73). Ross beat Jake Peavy at San Diego on April 12.