Rockies 7, Padres 1
Jennings shut down San Diego on four hits in eight innings and the Rockies beat the Padres 7-1 Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
“That was the best game I’ve seen the young man pitch since he’s been here, maybe with the exception of the shutout in the first game,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
That first game was pretty impressive, when Jennings became the only player in major league history to pitch a shutout and hit a homer in his big league debut, beating the New York Mets 10-0 on Aug. 23, 2001. The next year, he was voted the NL Rookie of the Year.
Jennings, who opened with three perfect innings and threw 92 pitches, agreed with his skipper.
“That was one of the better ones I’ve had since I’ve been here,” he said. “My pitch count was huge. To be under 100 for eight innings was huge for me.”
Jennings (4-5) beat Adam Eaton and the Padres for the second time in as many starts. He won 13-6 Wednesday in Denver. He struck out four and walked one Monday.
Jennings had struggled this season, coming in with an 8.05 ERA. He trimmed it to 7.15.
“You need results to ultimately prove to yourself and to the team and the coaches that you’ve still got it,” Jennings said. “I’ve had some good games, but that’s the kind of game you really want.
“I just pitched to the ballpark,” Jennings said after the Rockies’ first game in Petco Park. “This is a huge ballpark, and a good park to pitch in. I really stayed on the outer half all night.”
Brian Giles had the only big hit for San Diego, an RBI triple in the fourth.
“When he gets his stuff going, he’s a tough guy to face,” Giles said. “That was more a case of him doing a good job rather than us beating ourselves.”
Said manager Bruce Bochy: “We just got shut down. He pitched well against us again. One run is not going to win many games.”
The loss dropped San Diego into a virtual first-place tie with Los Angeles for the NL West lead. The Padres, who lost an NL-high 98 games last season, had sole possession of the division lead for four days.
Eaton (1-6) lost his sixth straight decision and is winless in his last nine starts. His only win was April 13, when he beat Los Angeles 8-3.
Eaton pitched five strong innings before allowing Sweeney’s leadoff single to right and Royce Clayton’s ground-rule double to center. The left-handed Burnitz fouled off several pitches before driving a 2-2 pitch to right field to give the Rockies a 2-1 lead.
The Rockies scored twice in the seventh to chase Eaton. Charles Johnson doubled in a run and scored on Sweeney’s single. Johnson doubled again in the three-run ninth, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on a throwing error by pitcher Brandon Puffer.
Eaton allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out a season-high seven and walked two.
“I’m pleased with the way I pitched but awfully frustrated and disappointedthat we lost,” Eaton said. “It’s getting a bit old.”
The Padres were coming off a 7-5 road trip that took them to four cities in three time zones. … Padres LHP David Wells is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, his first time on a mound since severing a tendon in his right wrist and cutting his left palm in an accident at his home on May 16 that put him on the disabled list. Wells was scheduled to start Friday night against Milwaukee, but won’t be ready because now he needs oral surgery, Bochy said. Wells is scheduled for another bullpen session on Saturday and he’lllikely make his next start next week when the Padres play at Boston.