Rockies 6, Padres 5
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Mark Sweeney was just happy to hit the ball.
The Rockies, winless in 22 road games when trailing after eight innings, entered the ninth down 4-3 and facing Hoffman, who had only two blown saves in 24 chances. Preston Wilson tied the game with an RBI double before Sweeney connected three batters later on a 3-1 fastball to center field to give Colorado a 6-4 lead.
“I have a lot of respect for Hoffy,” said Sweeney, who was teammates with Hoffman in San Diego for parts of three seasons, including 1998 when the Padres went to the World Series.
“I have had a lot of tough at-bats against him. I would have been happy with a single in that situation.”
The Rockies won for the seventh time in eight games and handed San Diego its third straight loss.
“I think when you fall behind, he’s in a good hitting count,” Hoffman said. “I didn’t want to walk another guy and move the go-ahead run on base. Location was probably dead over the middle of the plate. Obviously, not where you want to throw that pitch.”
Colorado received a number of other clutch plays to stage its comeback.
“That was the game right there,” Estes said. “He pulled a Houdini. If he comes in and gives up a run, it’s going to be pretty tough to come back against Hoffman.”
The Rockies’ ninth-inning rally started with Larry Walker’s leadoff walk against Hoffman (2-1). Preston Wilson then doubled into the right-center field gap to tie the game.
Matt Holliday reached on a fielder’s choice, and one out later, Sweeney hit a high fastball for his fourth homer.
“This game is humbling,” said Sweeney, who had been hitless in three career at-bats against Hoffman. “To do this against a guy like that, a guy who has been a good friend, makes it that much more special.”
Colorado closer Shawn Chacon got his 20th save in 26 chances, but not before allowing a run in the ninth. Chacon issued a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Darren Bragg, who took second on defensive indifference. Pinch-hitter Ryan Klesko hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-5. Sean Burroughs followed with a single to right, with Klesko taking third, before Chacon struck out Khalil Greene to end the game.
“Any win on the road is a good win for us,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “To beat one of the best closers the game has ever seen, that’s always satisfying.”
The Rockies have a 15-29 road record, but have won seven of their last 10 road games.
Xavier Nady broke a 3-all tie with a leadoff home run in the seventh inning off Estes for a 4-3 lead.
Nady also hit an RBI single as the Padres took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and he made a great diving catch in left field in the top of the inning to rob Royce Clayton of a hit.
Estes had allowed just one hit after the first inning before Nady homered. Estes allowed four runs on eight hits in seven innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one.
David Wells was denied his third straight win. Wells allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings.
Colorado got one run back on Larry Walker’s run-scoring groundout in thefourth and tied the game at 3-all on Clayton’s’ two-run double in the fifth.
The only other time Wells faced the Rockies was Sept. 9, 1995 when he was with Cincinnati. … Ten of Walker’s 13 hits this season have been for extra bases (three homers, six doubles and one triple). … The Padres are 14-2in one-run games at home.
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