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Fowler leads Rockies to win over Padres

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Dexter Fowler had a high of 13 home runs last season. Ten games into the season, Fowler has already hit almost half that number.

Two homers by Fowler, including the game-winner in the ninth, allowed the Colorado Rockies to earn a 7-5 victory over the San Diego Padres before an announced crowd of 21,814 at Petco Park on Friday.

Fowler, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, hit a drive into the seats in right with one out in the ninth off San Diego closer and former Rockie Huston Street. It was Fowler's sixth home run, tying him for tops in the majors.

"The first one I hit, I was like 'wow, that's way back,'" said Fowler, who had hit no more than six in three previous campaigns to his 2012 season. "I hit the second one, I said 'I got that one.' But at the same time, at this park, you never know. I hit it well though. It went a lot further than I thought."

"With Dexter, I can't say I knew he had this kind of power," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "I knew he had power but he's really been locked in. He's swinging really, really well. I think he's just in a good place right now."

Jeff Rutledge followed Fowler's homer with one of his own to left for the final run as the Rockies ended a three-game losing streak and extended their winning streak to four in a row over the Padres, who they swept last weekend.

The loss also extended San Diego's losing streak to three, including Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Dodgers, which featured a benches-clearing brawl that resulted in Los Angeles pitcher Zack Greinke suffering a broken collarbone after Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin charged the mound.

Quentin batted cleanup for the Padres against the Rockies, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts before being replaced in the ninth by Mark Kotsay. After the game, it was learned that Major League Baseball had suspended Quentin for eight games.

This time, the fireworks were produced by both clubs' offenses, but the Rockies (6-4) had the final say, beating the Padres (2-8) again. Colorado swept San Diego last weekend in Denver.

"Anytime you have a loss, it's tough," said San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso, who homered in the defeat. "It's definitely very disappointing. We have to play better."

Catcher Nick Hundley doubled into the gap in left-center off reliever Wilton Lopez with one out in the seventh, scoring Jedd Gyorko from first for a 4-3 Padres lead. Hundley scored to make it 5-3 when Will Venable followed with a single to right. But the Rockies rallied.

"That's a real good win for us to battle back after we gave up the lead," Weiss said. "We had some big hits, some big at-bats. It's a good way to start this series for sure."

The Rockies tied it with two unearned runs in the eighth after an error by Padres third baseman Jedd Gyorko. A double to deep left by Todd Helton, who broke out of his slump by going 3-for-4, drove in Troy Tulowitzki and a groundout to first by catcher Wilin Rosario scored Michael Cuddyer to knot the score again at 5.

Rex Brothers (1-0) struck out two in an inning's work. Rafael Betancourt got the save.

Street (0-1) suffered the loss.

The Rockies jumped on Padres starter Tyson Ross for two runs on four hits in the first. An infield single by Tulowitzki scored Rutledge, then a bloop to shallow center by Cuddyer plated Carlos Gonzalez.

Ross struggled with his control in the first, issuing a pair of walks to Fowler and Rutledge. Ross threw 34 pitches in the first, only 19 of them for strikes.

But Alonso tied the score with a two-run homer to center off Jon Garland with one out in the bottom of the first.

Colorado regained the lead in the fifth when Fowler homered to center off Ross for a 3-2 advantage.

"We haven't played well to start the season," Hundley said, referring to the Padres' rough start and the suspension of Quentin. "We have to play better no matter who is in the lineup."

NOTES: San Diego third baseman Chase Headley began a rehab assignment Friday at the club's Class A franchise in Lake Elsinore. Headley is expected to return (he won't be playing) to San Diego on Saturday, when he will be honored with his 2012 Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and MLB.com's GIBBY awards. Saturday also is Chase Headley Bobblehead Night at Petco. ... The Padres called up right-hander Thad Webb from Triple-A Tucson on Friday. Weber, 28, won his only start with Tucson, giving up a run on five hits at Salt Lake City on April 7. Infielder Cody Ransom, 37, was designated for assignment.

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