Padres 8, Rockies 7, 12 innings
SAN DIEGO (AP)—At the rate he’s hitting balls into the seats, there’s no doubt Ryan Klesko is back.
Klesko hit two more no-doubt home runs on Wednesday, helping the San Diego Padres beat baseball’s worst team, the Colorado Rockies, 8-7 in 12 innings. His second homer tied the game in the ninth, and Miguel Ojeda singled in the winning run with two outs in the 12th.
“I’m just sitting back and driving the ball,” said Klesko, whose homers went 392 and 389 feet. “It’s nice to have my bat speed back.”
Klesko has six homers this season—he hit just nine last year.
Klesko, who also hit a two-run homer in the sixth, said he hasn’t felt this good since May 2003, before he started having trouble with his right shoulder. He started taking cortisone shots, then had season ending surgery that September.
When he came back last year, he struggled not only with the shoulder, but with the spacious outfield at Petco Park. He hit only three homers at home in 2004, but has four so far this season.
“I felt great in spring training,” Klesko said. “The ball’s been jumping off my bat from day one, and I just worked hard on getting back stronger this whole offseason. It’s starting to show a little bit. I’m starting to get back to my old self and do what we’ve got to do to win.”
Klesko hit a 414-foot homer in a 2-1 win Tuesday night.
The Padres had four homers Wednesday and the Rockies three.
Klesko hit a leadoff homer to right in the ninth on an 0-1 pitch from Chin-Hui Tsao to tie the game at 7.
Mark Loretta started the winning rally in the 12th when he was hit by the first pitch from Marcos Carvajal (0-1), who hadn’t allowed a run in 9 2-3 innings coming in. Brian Giles, in an 0-for-22 slump, walked, before Phil Nevin and Klesko struck out. The runners advanced on Carvajal’s wild pitch before Ojeda lofted a single to the warning track in center.
Dennys Reyes (1-0) pitched a perfect 12th for the win.
The Padres went 5-1 on the homestand, which started with a 15-inning win over Arizona on Friday night.
“We’re just playing a lot crisper,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who ripped his club after a 10-3 loss at San Francisco a week earlier that capped a 1-5 trip. “We’re getting some big hits. Today we had some huge hits throughout the lineup.”
The Rockies hit two homers late in the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to a 7-6 lead, but still ended up losing for the 13th time in 14 road games.
The Rockies (6-19) tied a club record with their fourth straight one-run loss. They have led in 15 of their 19 losses.
“It’s pretty draining,” starter Jason Jennings said. “We showed a lot of heart. But we have done just enough every day to lose.”
Padres reliever Scott Linebrink blew a two-run lead in the eighth by allowing Dustan Mohr’s two-run homer with one out. Brad Hawpe was aboard on a walk for Mohr’s first homer of the year, which reached the second balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner.
Luis Gonzalez then gave the Rockies a 7-6 lead when he homered with one out in the ninth just over the 402-foot sign in left-center on a 3-2 pitch from Chris Hammond. It was the first homer for Gonzalez, who came in to play second base during a double-switch in the bottom of the eighth.
Klesko hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Jennings to cap a four-run rally that got Jake Peavy off the hook for a rare rough outing.
Peavy, whose 2.27 ERA was the lowest in the major leagues last year, allowed four earned runs in seven innings. It was just the sixth time in his last 33 starts that he allowed more than two earned runs.
Jennings gave up six runs on four hits in six innings, three of them homers.
Jennings, who leads the majors with 27 walks, blew a 4-2 lead by walking Dave Roberts and Mark Loretta opening the sixth. Both scored, Roberts on a wild pitch and Loretta on Phil Nevin’s one-out single. Klesko then hit a first-homer pitch to right-center, his fourth, for a 6-4 lead.
Roberts hit a leadoff homer to right for the Padres, the third of his career and first since Aug. 9, 2003, while with Los Angeles. It was his first homer this season. Ramon Hernandez homered to center with one out in the fifth, his fourth.
Peavy struck out eight and held the Rockies to five hits, although three were for extra bases. He walked two.
Todd Helton gave the Rockies a 4-1 lead when he homered to straightaway center with two outs in the fifth, his third.
Helton’s homer gave him 848 RBIs, tying Larry Walker’s club record. … Had the Padres been in a save situation, closer Trevor Hoffman wasn’t available because he pitched in four of the previous five games. Hoffman has 399 career saves and can become just the third reliever in history to get 400.