Hawpe’s homer helps Colorado beat Padres 2-1 in 14 to tighten wild-card race
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Brad Hawpe is helping to put the wild in the wild-card chase.
The Rockies snapped a seven-game winning streak by the Padres, who saw their wild-card lead trimmed to 1 1/2 games over Philadelphia. The Rockies, who won their sixth straight, are 3 1/2 back.
San Diego, trying to reach the playoffs for the third straight season, dropped 1 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West. Colorado remained five back.
With their 82nd victory, the Rockies clinched their first winning season since 2000.
Each team had chances to win it in extra innings before Hawpe drove a first-pitch slider from rookie Joe Thatcher (0-1) into the Padres’ bullpen beyond the fence in left-center field, the deepest part of Petco Park. It was his 27th.
“I was looking for something away,” Hawpe said. “He got me out last time with something away. I was looking to put the barrel on it and good things happened.”
“We all battled out there,” Hawpe said. “If somebody didn’t get it done, then the next guy would. That’s the way we’re playing right now.”
On Wednesday, Hawpe hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth against Los Angeles.
“It’s another beautiful swing,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He hits balls and they carry like nobody’s business. There’s dead air out there, it’s late. People who have played here know how hard it is to bust one.”
Matt Herges (5-1) pitched the final two innings for the win.
“Both sides pitched well in extra innings and Hawpe really squared a ball up and drove it to the opposite field,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “You don’t see lefties do that that often to that part of the park. It was well-struck.”
Peavy was impressed, too.
“A home run late—with as many home run hitters as they have in their lineup they’re bound to run into one if you play 14 innings,” Peavy said. “Good game, tough loss for the boys. We’ve just got to bounce back.”
Manny Corpas served up a 90 mph fastball on his first pitch of the ninth and Gonzalez drove it over the fence in straightaway center field. It was Gonzalez’s 27th.
Until then, rookie Franklin Morales and three relievers had held the Padres scoreless on just one hit, and San Diego hadn’t gotten a baserunner past second.
It was Corpas’ first blown save since he took over as closer in early July in place of Brian Fuentes. Corpas had been 16-of-16 as the closer. He also had not allowed a run in his last 15 appearances covering 15 2-3 innings.
Peavy certainly pitched well enough to win, allowing one run and three hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking two.
Despite the no-decision, Peavy padded his Cy Young credentials by lowering his major league-leading ERA from 2.39 to 2.36, and increasing his big league-leading strikeout total to 233.
Colorado’s Matt Holliday, who homered 11 times in his previous 12 games, struck out three times, his most since fanning four times July 13 at Milwaukee.
Peavy got in trouble in the seventh when he issued a leadoff walk to Holliday on four straight pitches and allowed a single to left by Todd Helton. With one out, Hawpe singled to right-center to bring in Holliday.
“The walk to Holliday got me there,” Peavy said. “You can’t walk anybody leading off an inning or you’ll get yourself in a hole, especially with the hitters they have coming up after him. They have a great lineup across the way.”
The Padres couldn’t do anything against Morales, a 21-year-old left-hander who was making his seventh big league start. Morales held the Padres scoreless for six innings, then finally was pulled by Hurdle after walking Kevin Kouzmanoff leading off the seventh. Latroy Hawkins came on and got the first two outs and Fuentes got the third.
Padres LF Milton Bradley played for the first time since straining his right oblique Sept. 7 at Colorado. … Rockies 2B Kaz Matsui made his second consecutive start. He returned Thursday from a right hamstring strain and went 3-for-3 against Los Angeles. That was his first start since Sept. 8.