Padres 4, Rockies 3
Ryan Klesko had three RBIs and Pedro Astacio threw seven strong innings as the Padres beat the Rockies 4-3 on Sunday. But the knee injury that drove Giles out of the game was a major concern for the NL West leaders.
“I think it’s fair to say he is one guy we can’t lose,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy. “That would be a tremendous blow for us if we had him go down.”
Giles’ injury is being called a bruised right knee after he collided with center fielder Dave Roberts on a double hit by Choo Freeman into the right-center field gap in the second inning. The two hit their right knees together and Giles went down for a few minutes before remaining in the game.
He doubled in the third inning, but had trouble running and was replaced by pinch-runner Xavier Nady, who stayed in the game in right field.
Giles is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam to rule out any further damage. The fear is that there may be ligament damage to the knee, the same knee in which Giles suffered a strained ligament in April 2003 when playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was forced to go on the disabled list and missed 23 games.
“Hopefully, it’s a day to day thing and I will be right back out there,” said Giles, who added that the injury does not feel the same as when he strained the ligament with Pittsburgh.
Giles leads the majors with 98 walks and has a team-high 68 RBIs. He is also considered by the players to be their inspirational leader.
“He’s the glue that holds this team together,” said Mark Sweeney, who started at first base Sunday.
Even without Giles, San Diego finally figured out a way to beat the Rockies, the NL’s worst road team at 18-44. Colorado came in with a four-game winning streak—all on the road—including the first two games of the series. The Padres also handed Jamey Wright his 16th loss, tying him for the most in the majors.
Klesko, who had been struggling recently, broke a 2-all tie in the fifth inning with a bad-hop single that knocked in two runs. Astacio (2-2) had his fourth consecutive strong outing, allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked two.
“This was a big win for us,” Klesko said. “We didn’t need to get swept by these guys.”
Astacio has not allowed more than two earned runs in his last four starts.
Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 33rd save in 35 chances.
Wright (6-16) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings as he tied Kansas City’s Zack Greinke (3-16) for the major league lead in losses. Wright, who struck out seven and walked two, also lost his career-high fifth straight start.
“I’m not a very lucky pitcher,” Wright said. “I thought I threw the ball well today and came out with a loss.”
Wright hurt himself in the fifth inning when he gave up a one-out single to Roberts, then hit Joe Randa and Nady in consecutive at-bats. Klesko hit a two-hopper to Todd Helton at first base. As Helton dove for the ball, it took a bad bounce over his glove into right field, scoring two runs and putting San Diego ahead 4-2.
“I had a shot at it,” Helton said. “I went full extension. Once it took the hop, I didn’t have a chance.”
Klesko drove in a run with an RBI single in the first and Randa hit a solo homer in the third, his 15th of the season and second with San Diego since being acquired from Cincinnati in a trade July 23.
Garrett Atkins had a two-out, run-scoring single in the first for Colorado, which tied the game at 2 in the fifth on Wright’s single and a two-out double by Helton.
The Rockies added a run in the eighth off Akinori Otsuka after Helton drew a leadoff walk and scored when Matt Holliday tripled off the center-field fence. Atkins reached on a throwing error by shortstop Damian Jackson with Holliday holding at third.
The Padres committed two errors, their fifth consecutive game with an error. During that stretch, San Diego has made 11 errors. … Wright is 1-8 in his last 10 starts. His only win was Aug. 2 at San Francisco in a 4-3 victory.