“He sometimes gets locked into sinker, sinker, sinker,” Bard said. “He did a good job throwing his slider. You’ve got to go with the flow.”
Hensley (8-10) struck out the side in his last inning on the mound, but felt a twinge in his shoulder. The Padres then erred on the side of caution and turned the game over to the bullpen.
Cla Meredith worked a scoreless eighth and now has gone 20 2-3 innings without giving up a run to tie the Padres’ record for a rookie set by Jose Melendez in 1991.
Scott Linebrink allowed Luis Gonzalez’s RBI single in the ninth before Trevor Hoffman got one out for his 34th save in 38 chances. It also was his 470th career save, leaving him eight away from tying Lee Smith’s career record.
“(Clay) had done his job and we were fresh in the bullpen,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “What a job he did.”
Hensley could’ve self-destructed after the first inning. He gave up three straight singles to begin the game and has been prone to big innings.
“I’ve been trying to do too much,” Hensley said. “I was looking to give them a run and get a double play.”
Kaz Matsui scored when Matt Holliday grounded a Hensley slider into a double play and Brad Hawpe bounced out, ending the threat. The run ended Hensley’s streak of 14 scoreless innings but he managed to limit the damage in the first.
“That’s the difference in the game,” said Bochy, whose team came into the game one behind Los Angeles in the NL West race. “He’s a confident kid.”
Hensley lingered in the trainer’s room after the game. He’s got bicep tendinitis and a strained buttock, but said he felt fine. He got his first road win since May 14.
Jason Jennings (7-11) allowed five runs and five hits in five innings for the Rockies, who have scored two runs or less in his last five starts.
“We didn’t score for him,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Until Saturday, the Padres hadn’t had much success against Jennings. They had scored four runs off him in 22 innings spanning three previous starts this season.
“It usually takes me a little bit to get into a rhythm of the game,” Jennings said. “The way it started I really never got a chance to establish a game plan or get into any kind of rhythm.”
San Diego took a 4-1 lead in the fourth when Mike Cameron led off with a double and Josh Barfield singled him in. San Diego ran itself out of a potentially bigger inning when Manny Alexander flied out to Hawpe and Barfield was caught wandering too far off first. It was Hawpe’s 14th assist of the season, which is second in the NL behind Alfonso Soriano.
Barfield thought he had a two-out grand slam in the fifth when he smashed a ball to left field. Holliday hit the wall and fell to the ground and Barfield went into his home run trot. When Barfield got to third, Holliday got up, showed the ump the ball and tossed it into the stands.
While Holliday had a solid day in the field—he made another catch up against the wall—his night at the plate was forgettable. He hit into a pair of double plays.
Colorado has lost 14 of its last 20 games.
“We still have guys trying to work through some things and improve in some area,” Hurdle said. “We can’t turn our backs on them.”
San Diego INF Geoff Blum was a late scratch from the lineup after his chest felt tight following batting practice. … Colorado’s Kaz Matsui had three more hits Saturday and is 7-for-13 since being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs last Tuesday. … Colorado’s Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton each had two hits.