Rockies starter Alex White has struggled to get past the 4th inning in recent starts and tonight was no exception as the Rockies (53-77) fell to the red-hot San Diego Padres (62-71), winners of 10 of their last 11 games.
White’s first batter of the night was Everth Cabrera, who worked him for a full 10 pitches before grounding out back to White. After just the first inning White had thrown 18 pitches which would be the story of his night. Carlos Gonzalez and Wilin Rosario both singled in the bottom of the inning but Chris Nelson grounded out back to Padres starter Clayton Richard, who made a nice play to retire Nelson.
White left a slider hanging over the middle of the plate and Carlos Quentin promptly dispatched it over the left-center fence to put the Padres up 1-0. White has surrended 11 HR’s this year, 7 of which have been to RH hitters. After issuing a 4 pitch walk to Yasmani Grandal, White bounced a pitch to the plate that Rosario could not handle moving Grandal into scoring position. Logan Forsythe smashed one right at Nelson but unfortunately took a wicked bounce and hit him in the arm allowing Grandal to score, making it 2-0 Padres. Gonzalez made a nice running catch in LF to prevent a third run, but after just 2 innings White was already at 44 pitches, with 30 strikes.
In the top of the 3rd Will Venable put it over Colvin’s head in CF for a triple. The next batter was Chase Headley who grounded out to 2nd but allowed Venable to score (after he had advanced on another White wild pitch) making it 3-0 Padres. After 3 innings White was at 60 pitches with 38 strikes and his night was quickly coming to an end.
White: 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 76 pitches, 49 strikes.
Matt Reynolds came in and got 2 outs (and a hit) and he was replaced by Josh Roenicke. His first pitch was a hanging slider that Quentin dispatched for a ground-rule double, scoring Headley and making the score 4-1 Padres. After a short lull, in the bottom of the 6th Pacheco dispatched a Richard fastball over the left-center fence, his 3rd HR of the year, and bringing the Rockies back to 4-2 down. 2 batters later Rosario then hit another Richard fastball over the left-field fence, his 23rd HR of the year, making the score 4-3. Richard got the first out of the 7th inning and then was removed:
Richard: 6 1/3, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 89 pitches, 57 strikes.
After going 2 2/3 with just 2 hits and 0 runs, Roenicke was taken out and relieved by Rex Brothers. Immediately Cameron Maybin hit a soft grounder between 2nd and 1st, DJ Le Mahieu dived and stopped the ball but lost it under his body and his momentum knocked it into RF allowing Maybin to take second base. After an intentional walk to Jesus Guzman and a strikeout by Cabrera, pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia (who has owned the Rockies this season with a .457 batting average), put the ball perfectly between third and short allowing Maybin to score who was running on contact, putting the Pads up 5-3. The Rockies were only able to get two 1-2-3 innings tonight, in which the Padres left 10 men on base.
Luke Gregerson came in for the save in the bottom of the 9th. He had been lights out, not allowing a run in over 23 straight innings. Andrew Brown ended that streak, hitting his second career HR to left making it 5-4. Colvin then K’d swinging, LeMahieu got an infield single and then pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon came up representing the tying run. However he flied out to left, and then Rutledge flew out to center, ending the Rockies comeback hopes.
The Rockies face the Padres again tomorrow night at 6.10 P.M. MT and will try to square the series. For the month of August the Rockies finished with a winning record, 16-13, which is their first winning month since June of LAST YEAR. Can September continue the trend?