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San Diego (77-65)000100010290
Colorado (74-68) «30000001x441

Atkins, Holliday power Rockies over Padres to gain ground in wild card

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Individual accomplishments were about all the Colorado Rockies had to talk about this late in seasons past.

Not this September. There's plenty more to discuss.

Colorado beat San Diego 4-2 on Sunday to take two of three in the series and close within three games of the wild card-leading Padres.

The Rockies are six behind first-place Arizona in the NL West, while San Diego is three back.

"We won a series we needed to win," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Garrett Atkins hit a two-run homer as part of a three-run first inning and Todd Helton had two of Colorado's four hits, including a milestone double that gave him 35 for the season.

Helton is the first player in major league history to have 35 doubles in 10 consecutive seasons.

"I can't even fathom when you hang an accolade like that around a player -- the only one ever," Hurdle said. "I've always said you get to be great by being good for a long time. He's been really good for a long time."

Helton was proud of the achievement, but it's not front and center in his mind.

"I'm more focused on going out to win games right now," he said. "It was a must-win game and we came out and answered the bell."

The Rockies are treating every game like a playoff contest. That's why Hurdle turned the ball over to closer Manny Corpas with one out in the eighth and runners on first and third. Corpas got pinch-hitter Brian Myrow to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Corpas then got three straight outs in the ninth for his 14th save in 16 opportunities. He is 14-for-14 since making his first appearance as a closer on July 7.

"You're going to get into some big spots and you want your big boys to pitch," Hurdle explained.

Not to mention hit. Matt Holliday connected on his 26th home run in the eighth to give the Rockies some breathing room.

"If it helped Manny feel more relaxed, then it was big," Holliday said.

Josh Fogg (9-9) got some help when two runners thrown out at the plate in the same inning.

"Those were like gifts," said Fogg, who went five innings, allowing one run and seven hits for his second straight win. "You don't expect them to happen."

Morgan Ensberg was tagged out trying to score from first on a double to left by Michael Barrett in the fourth. Holliday relayed the ball to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who fired a strike to catcher Chris Iannetta to get the sliding Ensberg.

"He's one of the best I've ever seen at relays," Holliday said of the rookie shortstop.

Later in the inning, Barrett was tagged trying to score on Chris Young's single to center. Ryan Spilborghs threw a one-hop strike to Iannetta, who tagged Barrett on the backside when he didn't attempt to slide.

After the game, Barrett admitted he should've hit the dirt.

"I made a baserunning mistake," he said. "I won't make the mistake again."

Young (9-7) has been notoriously tough on the Rockies, giving up just one run over 15 innings coming into the game. But they got to him early, scoring three runs in the first inning.

Young settled in after that, going five innings and allowing two hits. He also struck out eight but walked five.

"Normally, you don't lose games in the first inning," said Young, who hasn't won since July 19 against Philadelphia. "Today it happened."

The Rockies have won seven of their last 10 games to remain in the playoff chase. The team hasn't made the postseason since their one and only appearance in 1995.

Colorado is attempting to update its postseason resume. Of the Rockies' 20 remaining games, 17 are against teams still alive in the playoff chase.

"We feel confident that we can play with anybody," Tulowitzki said. "I think we're showing it."

Notes

  • It was only the second time at Coors Field the Rockies had four or fewer hits and won. The last time was a 4-1 win over Atlanta on Aug. 18, 1999, when the team had three hits.
  • Adrian Gonzalez's 11-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-4 afternoon for San Diego.
  • Marcus Giles finished 2-for-3 with two walks in his first game off the disabled list.
  • Colorado will be without OF Willy Taveras (strained right quad) and 2B Kaz Matsui (strained right hamstring) for an unknown amount of time. Both were injured on different plays in the eighth inning Saturday. "Kaz is down for a few days," Hurdle said. "Willy's out more than a few days."
 
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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Catcher Chris Iannetta tags out counterpart Michael Barrett as the Rockies stay one step ahead.  (AP)
Catcher Chris Iannetta tags out counterpart Michael Barrett as the Rockies stay one step ahead. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

G. Atkins
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Diego

M. Barrett
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
San Diego Padres
Brian Giles, RF5000010 .289
Marcus Giles, 2B3020200 .232
Mike Cameron, CF3010101 .249
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000013 .279
Khalil Greene, SS3100104 .252
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3120100 .232
Michael Barrett, C4021001 .250
Terrmel Sledge, LF2000111 .210
    Kevin Cameron, P0000000 .000
   a- Kevin Kouzmanoff, PH1011000 .251
    Rob Mackowiak, LF0000000 .265
Chris Young, P2010002 .128
   b- Scott Hairston, PH0000000 .240
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
    Brady Clark, LF1000010 .227
   c- Brian Myrow, PH1000001 .500
    Cla Meredith, P0000000 .000
    Justin Hampson, P0000000 .000
Totals3229264  
a-singled for K. Cameron in the 8th
b-announced for C. Young in the 6th
c-grounded into a double play for Clark in the 8th
Batting
2B - Michael Barrett (16, Fogg)
RBI - Michael Barrett (38), Kevin Kouzmanoff (61)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Giles-Greene-Gonzalez, Greene-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Chris Young (L,9-7) 5233581 2.72
Joe Thatcher 0.2100010 1.00
Kevin Cameron 1.1000100 2.19
Cla Meredith0111001 3.72
Justin Hampson 1000010 3.00
HBP - Holliday (by Chris Young)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Young 99-62, Joe Thatcher 11-8, Kevin Cameron 17-9, Cla Meredith 2-1, Justin Hampson 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Young 2-3, Joe Thatcher 1-0, Kevin Cameron 1-3, Justin Hampson 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Young 21, Joe Thatcher 3, Kevin Cameron 5, Cla Meredith 1, Justin Hampson 3
Colorado Rockies
Jamey Carroll, 2B3000110 .215
    Manuel Corpas, P0000000 .000
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3000121 .290
Matt Holliday, LF3211021 .331
Todd Helton, 1B4121001 .311
Garrett Atkins, 3B3112101 .285
Brad Hawpe, RF3000122 .284
Ryan Spilborghs, CF2000112 .288
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
    Omar Quintanilla, 2B0000000 .256
Chris Iannetta, C2000110 .208
Josh Fogg, P2000011 .130
    Matt Herges, P0000000 .000
    Cory Sullivan, CF1000000 .312
Totals26444610  
Batting
2B - Todd Helton (35, Thatcher)
HR - Matt Holliday (26, Meredith), Garrett Atkins (21, C. Young)
RBI - Matt Holliday (111), Todd Helton (72), Garrett Atkins 2 (99)
2-OUT RBI - Todd Helton (36), Garrett Atkins 2 (35)
SB - Matt Holliday (10, 2nd base off C. Young/Barrett)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Matt Holliday 1, Ryan Spilborghs 1
DP - Quintanilla-Helton
E - Ryan Spilborghs (1, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Josh Fogg (W,9-9) 5711320 4.90
Matt Herges (H,3) 1.2000210 2.41
Brian Fuentes (H,4) 0.2211110 3.54
Manuel Corpas (S,14) 1.2000000 1.91
IBB - Sledge by Josh Fogg
HBP - Cameron (by Josh Fogg)
WP - Brian Fuentes (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Fogg 89-49, Matt Herges 24-13, Brian Fuentes 19-11, Manuel Corpas 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Fogg 6-5, Brian Fuentes 1-0, Manuel Corpas 2-2
Batters Faced - Josh Fogg 24, Matt Herges 6, Brian Fuentes 5, Manuel Corpas 4
Game Information
Attendance - 20260
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Adam Dowdy, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether