Padres 7, Rockies 3
DENVER (AP)—Marcus Giles walked into San Diego’s clubhouse and proudly announced over the blaring music his reward for extending his hitting streak to 11 games Saturday night.
“I’m off (Sunday),” he said.
And it’s a well-earned day off. Giles had four hits, including two doubles, as the Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 7-3.
Giles wasn’t the least bit worried that his first off day of the season might affect his hitting. Not the way he’s seeing the ball.
“People talk about the ball looking big, I don’t think that’s true,” Giles said. “When you’re going good, you see the ball real clear. It’s not fuzzy right now.
“I want to play (Sunday). But you (need a break) every once in a while. I’ll take one day off before the All-Streak break and one after.”
Clay Hensley (1-3) earned his first win of the season. Hensley, bothered by a blister on the tip of his right middle finger his past three starts, gave up two runs on 10 hits in six innings. He entered with a 12.21 ERA, but lowered it to 9.45.
However, he refused to blame his recent slide on the blister.
“Non-issue,” he said.
Instead, he blamed mechanics. He worked on it in between starts and said he did a better job keeping his pitches down.
“I felt a lot smoother,” he said.
San Diego manager Bud Black noticed a different Hensley on the mound. He pitched instead of rearing back and throwing the ball.
“I think he felt more comfortable on the mound,” Black said.
Mike Cameron may be feeling more comfortable at the plate. He had two hits, including a double, to improve his batting average to .211.
“Cam’s back,” Giles said. “It’s not like anyone was worried in here. Never a nervous, concerned feeling. It was a matter of time. He’s got it going.”
The Rockies are searching for a way to get their sputtering offense on track. The team stranded 14 runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings.
“We’re swinging the bat well, but just not in key situations,” said Todd Helton, who had two hits and two walks. “It was one of those nights. I don’t sense any urgency. There is time.”
Garrett Atkins finished with three doubles, which matched a team record, and two RBIs.
Heath Bell, who relieved Hensley in the seventh, gave up his first run of the season on an RBI double by Atkins. With the bases loaded, Bell then struck out pinch-hitter Yorvit Torrealba. Bell had gone 10 1-3 innings without allowing a run.
Scott Linebrink got out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth by getting Helton to fly out to deep center.
Jeff Francis (1-2) struggled early, giving up five runs through three innings, but settled down. He lasted six innings and allowed a season-high 13 hits.
“I’m not putting the pitches where I need to and I’m just throwing bad pitches,” Francis explained.
Matt Holliday had two outfield assists in the sixth inning, tying a club record. He threw out Jose Cruz Jr. at the plate and helped retire Brian Giles, who got hung up between first and second after an RBI single.
The Rockies failed to hit a home run for the fourth straight home game. The streak ties the second-longest home run drought at Coors Field in team history. Colorado went six games without a homer in June 2004.
Colorado remained the only team left in the majors without multiple home runs in a game.
“We are hitting the ball and we are getting on base,” Jamey Carroll said. “It’s just not transferring into runs. We have to complete the process. This team has the capability to score runs. I think you will see that in time.”
The last Rockies player to record two assists in an inning was Jeromy Burnitz on April 27, 2004, against Florida. … The Rockies placed reliever Ramon Ramirez on the 15-day DL with a sprained right elbow and designated pitcher Matt Herges for assignment. Pitchers Ryan Speier and Bobby Keppel were called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. … Speier appeared in his first major league game Saturday night since Sept. 29, 2005, at the New York Mets. He gave up one run in an inning. Keppel worked a scoreless eighth. … Reliever Kevin Cameron pitched a scoreless ninth and has thrown 10 scoreless innings this season. … San Diego has 32 hits in the first two games of the series.