DENVER (AP)—After blowing a ninth-inning lead in the season opener two days earlier, the San Diego Padres were feeling a little uneasy after the Colorado Rockies whittled away at their big early lead.
A seven-run seventh inning took care of that.
Brian Giles provided the early spark, homering for the second straight game and driving in five runs, and the Padres battered Colorado’s bullpen in the seventh inning to pull away for a 14-6 victory over the Rockies on Wednesday night.
San Diego gave up a two-run lead in the ninth inning of a heartbreaking 12-10 loss to Colorado in Monday’s opener, but the Padres squashed any chance of a comeback this time. San Diego led 6-1 after three innings, let Colorado get within 7-5, then blew it open in the seventh.
“This ballpark, I tell you, until you get that last out it’s never over,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “They did a good job of coming back to get it within a couple before we broke it open. It’s a dangerous ballpark. You can’t get enough runs here.”
The Rockies at least tried.
Rookie Clint Barmes, the hero in Monday’s win, homered for the second straight game, Todd Helton had two RBIs and Colorado had 11 hits after getting 18 in the opener. The Rockies just couldn’t overcome another shaky April start from Jason Jennings, 11 walks and more trouble from its bullpen.
“The seventh inning wasn’t much for us to hold onto. It just spun out of control,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
Reliever Chris Hammond (1-0) struck out three and picked up the win with two perfect innings of relief.
Padres starter Adam Eaton was good early, but lasted just 4 2-3 innings because of a stomach cramp.
The right-hander allowed a run in the first on Helton’s RBI double, then two more in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Brad Hawpe and a bobble by center fielder Xavier Nady that allowed Helton to score after he initially hesitated rounding third.
Eaton started having trouble with the stomach cramp the fifth, giving up a solo homer to left by Barmes and Matt Holliday’s run-scoring single that cut San Diego’s lead to 7-5. San Diego’s trainer came out to check on Eaton after he grimaced early in the inning and he later aborted his windup twice against Helton.
He allowed five runs—three earned—and six hits, but struck out seven.
“For the most part, I was very pleased with the way I threw tonight,” Eaton said. “Everything was moving the way it should. It was an interesting game. I felt like I threw a lot better than the results.”
An injured Eaton was at least better than Jennings (0-1).
The right-hander had trouble spotting his pitches early, working deep into counts on just about every batter. Jennings threw 60 pitches in the first two innings—103 overall—and walked four in four innings.
Giles, who hit a two-run homer off Joe Kennedy on Monday, hit a three-run shot to the back of Colorado’s bullpen off Jennings in the first inning, then lined a two-run double in the second. Greene made it 6-1 in the third with an RBI single off Jennings.
Jennings allowed six runs—four earned—and seven hits, though it wasn’t all that surprising considering he’s 5-8 with a 6.99 ERA in 16 career April games, including 1-3 with 30 earned runs in 25 2-3 innings last season.
“I felt good, I had chances to get out of those innings and made a couple of bad pitches to Giles,” Jennings said. “It’s just one of hopefully 35 starts. I’ll make some adjustments and come out better.”
The Rockies need their bullpen to get better, especially right-hander Allan Simpson.
Byung-Hyun Kim was decent in his first outing with the Rockies, allowing a run in two innings, but Simpson had all kinds of trouble to set up San Diego’s big inning.
He walked three straight to open the seventh, then gave up a run-scoring single to Greene and a two-run double to Young that put the Padres up 10-5.
It was just what the Padres needed after Monday’s loss.
“We never feel safe in this ballpark, against this team,” Loretta said. “We just have to keep adding on, adding on because we know they are going to score, too. It’s a grind in this ballpark.”
The attendance was 20,721 after a sellout crowd of 47,661 watched Monday’s opener. … Barmes’ homer against San Diego on Monday marked the first time in major league history a rookie hit a game-ending homer on opening day. … RHP Marcos Carvajal, 20, became the youngest player in Rockies history when he entered in the eighth inning. .. San Diego’s Ramon Hernandez walked three times.