SAN DIEGO (AP)—This game was more suited for Denver’s Coors Field than pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Mike Cameron’s three-run homer and Pete Laforest’s two-run shot highlighted a nine-run rally with two outs in the fifth inning that carried the San Diego Padres to an 11-9 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
“You don’t see many games like that here, at this park,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Nevertheless, it was a great win. Contributions all around.”
The Padres don’t see many nights like this, period, what with an offense that came in with the worst batting average in the majors (.243) and the fifth-fewest runs scored (515).
The Padres took two of three from the Rockies and retained their lead in the wild-card race. San Diego, trying to win its third straight NL West title, remained three games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies fell six games behind Arizona.
Laforest, a Canadian-born catcher who was promoted on Saturday after Michael Barrett went on the disabled list, had a career-high three hits. Every starter on both teams had a hit except San Diego shortstop Khalil Greene.
Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 33 chances, extending his career record to 512. He also extended his big league record of 30-save seasons to 12.
Trailing 6-2, the Padres sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth inning, scoring nine runs on eight hits and two walks. The Padres tied a club record with hits in eight straight at-bats.
In a rare twist, Marcus Giles, pinch-hitting for starter Clay Hensley, batted twice in the inning. He struck out looking for the first out, then came up again and doubled to right-center. He scored the final run on big brother Brian’s single to center.
Hensley left trailing by four runs after five innings but got the win thanks to the big rally. Hensley (2-3) was pitching in the bigs for the first time since surrendering Barry Bonds’ record-tying 755th homer at Petco Park on Aug. 4. He was sent to Triple-A Portland the following day because the Padres needed a fresh arm for their taxed bullpen.
The crowd of 28,198 gave the Padres a standing ovation after their big inning.
“That was awesome,” Laforest said. “You don’t see too many of those innings, especially here in the big leagues. I mean, everybody was just trying not to make the last out.”
Colorado’s Elmer Dessens, pitching in the majors for the first time since May 18, walked Laforest leading off the fifth, then struck out Marcus Giles and retired Brian Giles on a fly to center. Geoff Blum walked ahead of Cameron’s homer to center field, which pulled the Padres to 6-5 and knocked out Dessens.
“Cammy’s homer injected a little bit of life back in the dugout,” Black said. “Then it went from there.”
Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt (4-3) relieved and failed to retire any of the five batters he faced. Adrian Gonzalez singled and Greene was intentionally walked, and both scored on Terrmel Sledge’s opposite-field double to left to give the Padres a 7-6 lead.
Kevin Kouzmanoff singled and Laforest homered to right, his first, to chase Affeldt.
Black said he likes Laforest’s approach.
“He has a great look in his eye. He’s not scared,” Black said. “Even though he’s a Canadian, he’s a cowboy. He goes for it.”
Matt Herges came on and allowed Marcus Giles’ double and Brian Giles’ RBI single.
Three of the five batters Affeldt faced were lefties.
“He has a history of getting left-handed hitters out,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It hasn’t worked lately. Obviously it didn’t work tonight.”
Said Affeldt: “Basically I just got my butt kicked. My fastball was up and they hit ‘em. I didn’t have my command of the strike zone tonight.”
On July 29, Cameron hit a two-run homer in an 11-run first inning at Houston that carried the Padres to an 18-11 win.
The Rockies went ahead 6-2 in the fifth against Hensley on Brad Hawpe’s two-run double and RBI base hits by Holliday and Atkins.
Hensley allowed six runs and six hits, walked four and struck out two.
Dessens was making his first big league start since Oct. 2, 2005, at San Diego, while with Los Angeles. He allowed five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked one.
Dessens was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Aug. 4. The Rockies signed him to a minor league contract on Friday.
The combined 13 runs in the fifth inning tied a Petco Park record, and the Padres’ nine-run inning was the second-highest single-inning output in park history. … Kouzmanoff got his first big league stolen base in the fifth. … It was Laforest’s second big league homer. His first was with Tampa Bay in 2005. … Affeldt’s ERA rose from 2.51 to 3.47.