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Denver hex ended, Padres pursue another win over Rockies

Sportsnaut
Jul 11, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop C.J. Abrams (77) celebrates his three-run home run with catcher Jorge Alfaro (38) in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres have at least temporarily halted their longstanding struggles in the mile-high altitude of Denver.

The Padres will look to make it two straight wins over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night after ending their 10-game road losing streak in the series with a 6-5 win on Monday in the opener of a four-game set.

San Diego won at Colorado for the first time since May 12, 2021, but it didn’t come without anxiety. A four-run lead in the eighth inning was sliced to one in the ninth, and the Rockies had the tying run on second before All-Star C.J. Cron bounced out to end the contest.

“Even though it got a little bit dicey, a ‘W’ is a ‘W,'” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said afterward. “So that streak is broken, right?”

The Padres also needed a win in general after being outscored 15-1 at home over the previous two games against the San Francisco Giants. The victory was just San Diego’s sixth in the past 17 games.

Rookie C.J. Abrams slugged a three-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Padres the 6-2 cushion. San Diego’s Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado also smacked homers. Cronenworth had three hits and scored twice.

The offense was welcome after San Diego scored two or fewer runs in eight of the previous 10 games.

“This is a good place to hit,” Melvin said. “I know it hasn’t been kind (to us) in the past. Jake led us off and we scored a run in the first inning, which always takes a little of the tension off. We were able to add on and get just enough to win the game.”

Colorado dropped to 5-3 this season against the Padres.

The Rockies fought late in the game against the San Diego bullpen. Jose Iglesias delivered an RBI double in the eighth, and Connor Joe and Charlie Blackmon both hit two-out RBI doubles in the ninth.

The most memorable hit of the game in the view of Colorado manager Bud Black was the one by Iglesias. That’s because it was the 1,000th career hit for the 32-year-old shortstop.

“He’s proven to be a quality major league player,” Black said of Iglesias, who first reached the majors in 2011 for the Boston Red Sox. “One-thousand hits is a lot. He (provides offense) at a premium defensive position.”

The Rockies will be without Kris Bryant for the second straight game. He was placed on the paternity list on Monday with his wife set to give birth to twins.

San Diego shortstop Ha-Seong Kim (thumb injury) likely will return to the starting lineup on Tuesday. He missed Sunday’s game against San Francisco and entered the Monday game vs. Colorado in the bottom of the ninth for defensive purposes.

The Padres will start right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-1, 3.34 ERA) on Tuesday. He lost to the Seattle Mariners on July 5 when he gave up four runs and six hits over six innings.

Clevinger appeared in relief against the Rockies in Denver on June 17 and gave up two runs and five hits over two innings. The 31-year-old is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against Colorado.

Iglesias (1-for-13) and Randal Grichuk (1-for-10) have both struggled against Clevinger.

Colorado will counter with left-hander Austin Gomber (4-7, 6.46 ERA), who has served up 14 homers in 78 innings this season.

Gomber, 28, received a no-decision Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks when he gave up three runs and six hits over five innings.

Gomber is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in six career appearances (four starts) against the Padres. Cronenworth (4-for-10), Machado (4-for-13), Austin Nola (4-for-6) and Kim (3-for-6, three doubles) have fared well against Gomber.

–Field Level Media