DENVER (AP)—Dexter Fowler doesn’t have to wait for a sign to steal a base.
His light is permanently green.
Taking advantage of good jumps and Chris Young’s methodical delivery, Fowler tied a modern-day rookie mark with five stolen bases as the Colorado Rockies ran their way to a 12-7 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night.
Fowler gave the Padres fits all night, becoming the first rookie to steal that many bases since Damian Jackson did it for San Diego on June 28, 1999.
Although he’s already encouraged to run, Fowler, who has nine steals for the season, received even more prodding before the game.
“I told him, ‘Run until they stop you,”’ teammate Ryan Spilborghs said. “He did. I don’t think they ever stopped him. I think he’s still running if we go look for him right now.”
The Rockies stole eight bases, the second-most in franchise history. It was two shy of the team mark set on June 30, 1996.
All the stolen bases were on the battery of Young and Nick Hundley.
The game was halted in the sixth inning when Brad Hawpe was hit in the neck by Hundley’s throw to second.
Hawpe was taken off the field on a cart and then to a hospital with a possible concussion.
“We know he’s doing OK,” Spilborghs said after the game.
Hawpe’s injury occurred when Hundley scooped a ball out of the dirt and fired a throw to second to try and pick off Hawpe, who was sliding back into the bag. The throw sailed to the shortstop side of the base.
Hundley winced as he watched Hawpe get hit by the baseball.
So did David Eckstein, who was covering second on the play.
“It hit him solid, that’s why I was scared,” Eckstein said. “When I saw (his) eyes open, that was OK.”
Fowler was on base four times for the Rockies, lining two singles and drawing two walks. He stole second and third on twice.
Fowler had no idea he was closing in on the team record until a fan screamed at him.
“Heard a guy say, ‘Almost got the record, one more,”’ Fowler said.
Then a roadblock came up. Slow-moving pitcher Glendon Rusch singled just ahead of Fowler’s walk in the fifth.
The brakes had to be applied.
Still, Fowler tried to propel Rusch to take off.
“I was like, ‘Rushy, if you take off, that’s on you—but I’m right behind you,”’ Fowler said, smiling.
Reliever Jason Grilli (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Jason Hammel made his first start in a year and surrendered five runs—four earned—in three innings. The Rockies picked up Hammel from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this month for a minor league pitcher. He made three appearances out of the bullpen before getting the start Monday.
Young (2-1) gave up a career-high eight runs in three innings. Young had a career mark of 5-1 against Colorado with a 3.28 ERA before the meltdown.
“It’s a good lineup and if you fall behind you’re asking for trouble,” Young said.
Especially when Fowler gets on base.
With Young’s slow delivery, Fowler had a field day on the bases.
“It’s something I was aware of, so the goal is to keep him off base,” Young said. “But it doesn’t change the way I’m pitching.”
Padres OF Jody Gerut came into the game hitless in his last 16 at-bats, but broke out of his slump in a big way with a single, double and homer. … Hitless in his last 19 plate appearances, Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki took a seat on the bench Monday night. He’s hitting .167 this season. … Rockies 3B Garrett Atkins had his second three-hit game of the season.