Rockies 13, Padres 5
DENVER (AP)—On the bottom of the lineup card posted in the Rockies’ clubhouse, manager Clint Hurdle scribbled a simple proverb: “Don’t poison the future with the pain of the past.”
In other words, forget the recent six-game road losing streak in which Colorado was outscored 38-15. The Colorado Rockies did just that in a 13-5 trouncing of San Diego on Friday night.
The Rockies pounded out 18 hits, matching their season-high. Brad Hawpe and Todd Helton each had four-hit nights and the first six batters in the order had 16 hits, scored 12 times and drove in 11 runs.
For an evening, Colorado’s offense had returned.
“It’s good to score some runs,” Hawpe said with a smile.
Hawpe was the catalyst. He hit his first home run at Coors since May 16, a span of 40 games. Hawpe’s 19th home run of the season—a two-run blast to right — in the fifth gave the Rockies a 7-5 lead they’d never relinquish.
Yet Hawpe was nonchalant about his first career four-hit evening.
“I just felt good up there,” he said.
Instead of gloating on himself, he wanted the spotlight to shine on starting pitcher Jeff Francis.
“He’s the reason we won this game,” Hawpe said.
Francis (10-10) entered Friday’s game with the eighth-best ERA in the National League (3.38), but had no command of his pitches. He couldn’t spot his stuff. He allowed five runs, six hits and two walks in the first two innings before settling down.
However, Francis knew he had to keep grinding. Francis went six innings for his first win at Coors since his shutout against St. Louis on July 24.
“He went from his worst innings to his most impressive four,” Hurdle said. “A lot of grit and a lot of fortitude there by Jeff to get through six innings.”
With the Rockies bullpen down a pitcher—closer Brian Fuentes won’t be back until Sunday due to the death of his grandfather—Francis needed to go as long as he could. He was out there on survival mode.
“It’s hard to describe,” Francis said. “You realize you can’t rely on the things you normally rely on. You try to live pitch to pitch.”
Francis lasted long enough to get the ball to the bullpen, which used three pitchers to shut down the Padres over the last three innings.
The Padres should’ve known it was going to be a long game judging by the first inning.
Mike Thompson (3-5) got off to a rocky start. Thompson, who was called up from Triple-A Portland on Aug. 22 to replace Chan Ho Park, surrendered six straight singles to begin the first. The Rockies scored four runs.
Thompson lasted four innings, giving up 11 hits and eight runs. He was pulled after walking Ryan Spilborghs following Hawpe’s home run in the fifth. The Rockies scored three runs in the inning.
Thompson, a native of Lamar, Colo., never would’ve imagined things would’ve went this sour.
“I came into the game with good stuff,” he said. “My pitch selection was poor that first inning. That kind of killed me there.
“It was all my bad.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said there was blame to go around.
“We were off tonight,” Bochy said. “We just had an overall off night.”
The Rockies are just glad to have their six-game slide in the rearview mirror.
“It’s baseball,” Helton said. “You go through those times. Good teams don’t go through them as much. We went through a rough stretch on the road. It’s contagious and we got on a little roll (Friday).”
The same can be said of Helton. After a 4-for-4 night, he has his average at .302. It’s the first time since July 7 his average has been over .300.
“He’s over .300,” Hurdle said. “That’s a good place for him. He’s been over .300 more than he’s been under it since he’s been in a Rockies uniform.”
: Park is recovering well from Wednesday’s surgery to stop bleeding in his small intestine. “I hear he’s doing fine,” manager Bochy said. … Kaz Matsui made his Coors Field debut at second base Friday. He had two hits, two walks, stole a base and scored three runs. … Former Colorado OF Larry Walker watched the game from the stands. … The Rockies stole a season-high six bases. … Mike Cameron and Ben Johnson each had three hits for San Diego.