Rockies 5, Padres 3
DENVER (AP)—Rene Reyes guessed right.
Expecting an off-speed pitch, Reyes pounced on a hanging slider and drove it into the left-field bleachers for a two-run homer in the eighth inning, helping the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 on Sunday.
The Rockies were clinging to a 3-2 lead when Reyes homered on a full count off Kevin Walker.
“He threw me a fastball on 2-2, and I thought he’d throw a changeup or breaking ball on 3-2,” Reyes said. “I was looking for it. This is very important for the team, huh? It means a lot to make a contribution like this.”
Reyes’ homer came after Todd Helton had doubled. Helton had three hits to reach 200, becoming the only Colorado player with a pair of 200-hit seasons.
Helton is only the second National Leaguer to reach 200 this season, behind St. Louis’ Albert Pujols.
“Two hundred hits is a lot of hits,” Helton said. “More than anything it’s just going out there every day and giving yourself a chance to get to that number. And doing it a second time just proves it wasn’t a fluke the first time.”
Tsao (3-3), the first Taiwanese-born pitcher in major league history, allowed two runs and five hits, striking out a career-high seven and walking three.
“Now I know I can strike out big league hitters,” Tsao said through an interpreter. “When I first came up here (from Double-A on July 25), I had a difficult time, and when I struck someone out it was rare. Now that I know I can do it on a consistent basis, it’s a good feeling.”
Adam Eaton (8-12) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings.
“We didn’t do anything offensively,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “I was surprised there wasn’t more scoring on both sides. Pitchers pitched well on both sides.”
Bochy was pleased with the continued progress of Eaton.
“He has come a long ways back since coming off that Tommy John surgery,” Bochy said. “He has his velocity back.”
Brian Giles put San Diego ahead with a two-run homer in the first, and Tsao escaped a two-on jam later in the inning when shortstop Clint Barmes chased down Mark Kotsay’s popup near the foul line and threw out Phil Nevin, who had strayed too far off second.
Colorado went ahead in the second on Walker’s two-run homer and Clint Barmes’ sacrifice fly.
Tsao, who had lost his three previous starts, walked back-to-back batters with one out in the third but retired Gary Matthews Jr. on a flyout and struck out Kotsay. Tsao retired 10 straight batters—three on strikeouts—before Kotsay singled with two outs in the sixth.
Eaton retired eight consecutive batters before the Rockies threatened in the sixth. Helton hit a one-out double but Jay Payton grounded out. After anintentional walk to Walker, Reyes flied out.
Colorado RHP Jason Jennings, hospitalized over the weekend with a virus, will miss his final scheduled start Friday. … Rockies 2B Chris Stynes and Padres 2B Mark Loretta each ranged behind second base to throw out runners on nearly identical plays in the fourth. … With Helton on second base and one out in the eighth, Loretta saved a run by going to his left and throwing out Walker. … Loretta extended his hitting streak to 11 games. It’s the fifthtime this season he has had a hitting streak of 10 or more games.