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Rockies hold on to defeat Maddux, Padres

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- -The last pitch Greg Maddux threw was caught by reliever Heath Bell more than 400 feet from home plate.

That wasn't the way Maddux wanted to exit his first start with the San Diego Padres.

Maddux was mediocre Friday night, getting chased by Matt Holliday's two-run homer into San Diego's bullpen that helped carry the Colorado Rockies to a 4-3 win and ruin the Padres' home opener.

"I just didn't pitch good enough when I had to," said the 333-game winner, who signed a $10 million contract in December.

Jason Hirsh won his Rockies debut by striking out a career-high eight, and Kaz Matsui had three hits, two stolen bases, an RBI and a run scored. The Rockies won their third straight following an opening-day loss to Arizona.

Khalil Greene hit a two-run homer off Brian Fuentes with no outs after Mike Cameron was hit with a pitch to lead off the inning. Fuentes settled down and got three outs to seal his first save in as many chances.

Pitching eight days before his 41st birthday, Maddux allowed four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Noted for his control throughout his brilliant career, he also hit a batter and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. He struck out four and walked one.

Holliday hit an 0-2 pitch over the 401-foot sign in left-center with one out in the fifth. Bell, who'd been warming up for several minutes, turned and nonchalantly caught the ball.

Manager Bud Black came out to get Maddux (0-1), who'd been visited before the at-bat by pitching coach Darren Balsley.

"It's hard to hit a good pitch out," Maddux said. "Give him credit, too. He went down and got it."

Holliday homered on a sinker.

"Ideally, you don't want to stand around and watch him paint the corners," Holliday said. "He's such a great pitcher. He doesn't make mistakes often, so when he does, you've got to capitalize on it."

Maddux dropped to 14-6, with two no-decisions, in his first starts of the season. He was 5-0 to start last season with the Chicago Cubs. Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, he joined the Padres in the offseason.

With the score tied at 1 in the sixth, Matsui beat out a slow roller to third for a single, stole second, advanced on Garrett Atkins' fly ball and scored on Maddux's wild pitch.

Maddux walked Todd Helton ahead of Holliday's homer.

"It's not the end of the world when you're down 2-1. When they scored the other two runs, it's kind of hard to come back from," Maddux said.

"I thought he'd still be able to execute some pitches," Black said. "If he locates one pitch to Holliday, he ends up with two runs in six innings."

Hirsh (1-0) had a much different result than when he made his big league debut last year for Houston, against the Padres.

The Padres rocked him in his big league debut on Aug. 12, hitting three home runs in one inning and winning 6-3.

"Obviously, I'm a lot happier because I won the game," he said.

Hirsh was obtained Dec. 12 in a five-player trade that sent Jason Jennings to the Astros.

He walked none and held San Diego to one run in 6 2/3 innings. Hirsh allowed five hits, including Terrmel Sledge's homer in the fifth that tied the game at 1.

"I didn't beat Greg Maddux. Our lineup beat Greg Maddux," Hirsh said. "I just went out there and kept the ballgame close in order for us to achieve that. Not everybody can say they faced Greg Maddux before in their career, and to beat him on top of that just adds to that."

Manager Clint Hurdle said Hirsh "pitched with a little edge on him tonight. Now he's taken a step. Home opener, against Maddux, he handled it very well. It's the kind of stuff you tell stories about when you get old."

Maddux retired the first two batters in the third before hitting Willy Taveras in the back with an 0-2 curveball. Taveras scored on Matsui's triple into the right-field corner.

Notes

  • The Padres honored Hall of Fame-electee Tony Gwynn by unveiling a Countdown to Cooperstown banner on the top balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner during pre-game ceremonies. Gwynn addressed the crowd via a video message, unable to attend because he was coaching the San Diego State Aztecs.
  • Relievers Trevor Hoffman and Scott Linebrink, and bullpen catcher Mark Merila raised the 2006 NL West championship banner.
  • Buzzie Bavasi, 90, the Padres' first president, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
  • Padres rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff dropped to 2-for-17 (.118).
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Matt Holliday smashes a Greg Maddux pitch 401 feet for a HR and the Rockies prevail over the Padres.  (AP)
Matt Holliday smashes a Greg Maddux pitch 401 feet for a HR and the Rockies prevail over the Padres. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

K. Greene
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Colorado

J. Hirsh
IP 6.2
H 6
ER 1
BB 0
K 8
 

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Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF3100010 .083
Kaz Matsui, 2B4131000 .462
Garrett Atkins, 3B3010002 .235
Todd Helton, 1B3100103 .333
Matt Holliday, LF4122012 .421
Brad Hawpe, RF4000013 .313
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000011 .211
Chris Iannetta, C4000020 .154
Jason Hirsh, P3000020 .000
    Manuel Corpas, P0000000 .000
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
   a- John Mabry, PH1000000 .000
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Totals3346318  
a-flied out for Hawkins in the 9th
Batting
3B - Kaz Matsui (1, Maddux)
HR - Matt Holliday (2, Maddux)
RBI - Kaz Matsui (3), Matt Holliday 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Kaz Matsui (3)
SB - Kaz Matsui 2 (2, 2nd base off Maddux/Bard, 3rd base off M. Thompson/Bard)
Team LOB - 5
Colorado Rockies
Jason Hirsh (W,1-0) 6.2611081 1.35
Manuel Corpas (H,2) 0.1000000 0.00
LaTroy Hawkins (H,2) 1100010 7.36
Brian Fuentes (S,1) 1122021 9.00
HBP - Cameron (by Brian Fuentes)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hirsh 92-59, Manuel Corpas 4-2, LaTroy Hawkins 20-13, Brian Fuentes 24-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hirsh 3-9, Manuel Corpas 1-0, LaTroy Hawkins 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Hirsh 26, Manuel Corpas 1, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Brian Fuentes 5
San Diego Padres
Marcus Giles, 2B4020010 .375
Brian Giles, RF4010022 .250
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000022 .250
Josh Bard, C4000002 .333
Mike Cameron, CF3100010 .188
Khalil Greene, SS4132010 .412
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4000022 .118
Terrmel Sledge, LF3121010 .222
   a- Geoff Blum, PH1000000 .000
Greg Maddux, P2000000 .000
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
   b- Paul McAnulty, PH1000002 .000
    Mike Thompson, P0000000 .000
   c- Jose Cruz Jr., PH1000010 .400
Totals35383011  
a-popped out for Sledge in the 9th
b-grounded out for Bell in the 7th
c-struck out for M. Thompson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Khalil Greene (3, Hirsh)
HR - Khalil Greene (2, Fuentes), Terrmel Sledge (1, Hirsh)
RBI - Khalil Greene 2 (4), Terrmel Sledge (1)
2-OUT RBI - Terrmel Sledge (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Josh Bard (1, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
Greg Maddux (L,0-1) 5.1544141 6.75
Heath Bell 1.2000020 0.00
Mike Thompson 2100020 0.00
HBP - Taveras (by Greg Maddux), Atkins (by Mike Thompson)
WP - Greg Maddux (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 83-59, Heath Bell 22-18, Mike Thompson 30-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 6-6, Heath Bell 1-2, Mike Thompson 2-2
Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 23, Heath Bell 5, Mike Thompson 8
Game Information
Attendance - 44267
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi