Rockies 5, Padres 3
DENVER (AP)—Shawn Chacon is working faster this year, and it’s made him a better pitcher.
Chacon (10-3) was criticized by manager Clint Hurdle last season for walking around too much between pitches, but he’s spent more time on the dirt this year.
He worked quickly against the Padres, allowing two runs on five hits to join Seattle’s Jamie Moyer, Los Angeles’ Kevin Brown, Esteban Loaiza of the Chicago White Sox and Toronto’s Roy Halladay with 10 wins.
“I think it (working quickly) has helped me a lot, especially here,” Chacon said. “If you work quick and throw strikes, the defense is on their toes. There are plays being made and I might be able to contribute to that by working fast and throwing strikes.”
That’s just what he did against the Padres.
Chacon gave up just two hits in the first five innings and didn’t allow a runner past first base until Mark Kotsay hit a run-scoring double down the line in left with one out in the sixth.
Chacon has allowed four runs in 14 2-3 innings since giving up a team-record 12 runs his last home start, June 7 against Kansas City. He’s won six of his past seven starts and tied Kevin Ritz’s 1996 team record for most wins before the All-Star break.
“He was efficient and he pitched a good ballgame,” Hurdle said. “He gave us just what we needed out of this start.”
It was the finish the Rockies had trouble with—again.
Leading 5-2 heading into the ninth inning, Hurdle brought in Jose Jimenez even though the Rockies’ closer had given up a three-run homer in the ninth inning of Colorado’s 7-5 loss to San Diego on Monday night.
After replacing a stunned Jimenez, Justin Speier got Gary Bennett to ground into a fielder’s choice on a nice play by shortstop Juan Uribe. He then struck out Keith Lockhart and pinch-hitter Rondell White to end the game.
“Speier came in and shut us down at the end,” said Padres manager Bruce Bochy, whose team had its three-game winning streak snapped.
The Rockies had a runner at third with one out in the fourth inning after Todd Helton tripled for the second straight game, but Kevin Jarvis (0-1) struck out Preston Wilson and got Walker on a weak ground out.
Jarvis wasn’t as fortunate in the fifth.
Chris Stynes broke a scoreless tie on Jarvis’ third pitch of the inning, sending it over the wall in left-center for his sixth homer of the year.
Johnson followed with a single up the middle and Brent Butler hit one to nearly the same spot on the next pitch. The Padres got Johnson at third on a sacrifice attempt by Chacon, but Uribe followed with a run-scoring single to left.
Jay Payton added an RBI single up the middle and Helton made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Jarvis allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings.
“They strung together some hits. That can happen here. I know,” Jarvissaid. “But I didn’t get my job done.”
Struggling Rockies SS Jose Hernandez was given the night off. He leads the majors with 95 strikeouts, including 22 in the past 14 games. … Loretta was 0-for-3 to end an 11-game hitting streak. He was robbed of a base hit in the eighth inning on a diving stop by Stynes at third. … Walker is 10-for-19in his career against Jarvis after going 2-for-3 against him Monday night.