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San Diego (70-83) «020040000660
Colorado (86-66)000020100361

Venable sparks Padres; Rockies' wild-card lead cut to four games

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- Jason Marquis is running out of time to find his missing sinker.

The Rockies' All-Star right-hander had trouble with his release point and took the loss Wednesday night when the San Diego Padres beat Colorado 6-3.

He'll have two more starts to try to help the Rockies reach the playoffs.

"Oh, plenty of time," Marquis insisted. "I'll work hard in between starts, try to get the feel back. I might lighten up my throwing a little bit, we're so deep into the season. I'll watch some film, throw a nice light 'pen and try to get my feel back for the bottom of the strike zone."

  Playoff Race

The Rockies' lead in the NL wild-card race was whittled to four games on Atlanta, which beat New York 5-2, and San Francisco, which beat Arizona 5-2.

With 10 games left, the Rockies' hearts aren't racing just yet.

"If we win the rest of our series, nobody catches us," manager Jim Tracy declared.

That would start with a victory against San Diego on Thursday night when the Rockies send right-hander Jason Hammel (9-8) to the mound against lefty Clayton Richard (8-5).

Then, former Rockies slugger Matt Holliday will make his first visit to Coors Field as an opponent when the St. Louis Cardinals come to Colorado for a three-game series.

There's a chance the Cards will clinch a playoff spot at their hotel Thursday night, if the Chicago Cubs lose at San Francisco. That could change the competitiveness of their weekend series at Coors Field.

As the Padres proved Wednesday night, though, nothing's coming easy for the Rockies.

By not swinging at Marquis' off-target sinkers early in the count, they forced him to rely on his secondary pitches that caught more of the plate.

That patience paid off, especially for Will Venable, who hammered a flat slider for his 12th home run and added a three-run triple off a meaty pitch in the fifth, giving San Diego a 5-0 lead.

His four RBI tied a career high and helped the Padres snap Colorado's eight-game home winning streak.

"That's been the thing that I've been working on the last couple of days, just trying to tighten up the zone a little bit, just wait for the pitch I know I can hit," Venable said.

Marquis allowed six runs, five of them earned, on five hits and five walks before leaving with two outs in the fifth, failing for the third time to win his career-best 16th game.

"I just wasn't getting ahead," he said. "If I get ahead, it really doesn't matter what the other team's game plan is. I was falling behind, too many hitters' counts and I had to come back to the middle of the plate more times than I wanted to."

For the Rockies to clinch and do anything in the playoffs, it would help if they had the Marquis who was 11-6 at the All-Star break and not the version that's struggled with locating his slider over the last month while going 1-4.

Venable hit a solo home run in the second, his 12th, and added a three-run double in the fifth off Marquis, who failed for the third time to win his career-best 16th game.

Reliever Ryan Webb (1-0) got the victory with one inning of scoreless relief and Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 40th save in 46 tries.

Right-hander Tim Stauffer took a no-hitter into the fifth inning but left after allowing two runs on three hits, denying him the victory because he only went 4 2/3 innings.

"As a [former] starting pitcher myself, that's not ideal," Padres manager Bud Black said.

But Stauffer had thrown 101 pitches.

"I think as that inning progressed I felt as though time was running out for Tim. His pitch count was getting high and they were taking some pretty good swings and I felt the consistency from pitch to pitch just wasn't there," Black said.

Clint Barmes led off the inning with a double and scored on Seth Smith's single. Tulowitzki chased Stauffer with an RBI single that made it 6-2.

Stauffer said he knew he had thrown too many pitches, walking four in the first two innings.

"We won, I can't say a lot of bad," Stauffer said. "I would of liked to stuck in there longer, but any time you leave the game on the winning side, it's a good thing."

Notes

  • The Rockies kept LF Carlos Gonzalez out of the lineup because his left hamstring grabbed on him Tuesday night.
  • Venable's four RBI tied his personal high he set on July 30 at Cincinnati.
 
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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Will Venable rips a three-run triple in the fifth inning to increase San Diego's lead to 5-0.  (AP)
Will Venable rips a three-run triple in the fifth inning to increase San Diego's lead to 5-0. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

W. Venable
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Colorado

S. Smith
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
San Diego Padres
Everth Cabrera, SS5110012 .262
David Eckstein, 2B4000115 .260
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4100101 .274
Chase Headley, 3B5000024 .264
Will Venable, RF4224110 .273
Oscar Salazar, LF2100201 .328
    Mike Adams, P0000000 .000
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Nick Hundley, C2000211 .230
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF4011010 .266
Tim Stauffer, P3110025 .174
    Ryan Webb, P0000000 .000
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
    Drew Macias, LF1010000 .203
Totals3466579  
Batting
2B - Will Venable (14, Marquis), Drew Macias (5, Flores)
HR - Will Venable (12, Marquis)
RBI - Will Venable 4 (37), Tony Gwynn Jr. (18)
2-OUT RBI - Will Venable 3 (17)
SB - Tony Gwynn Jr. (8, 2nd base off Marquis/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 8
San Diego Padres
Tim Stauffer 4.2322530 3.58
Ryan Webb (W,1-0) 1100110 3.57
Joe Thatcher 0.2111010 2.59
Mike Adams (H,13) 1.2000110 0.82
Heath Bell (S,40) 1100010 2.84
HBP - Fowler (by Tim Stauffer)
WP - Ryan Webb (3), Joe Thatcher (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Stauffer 101-54, Ryan Webb 27-15, Joe Thatcher 14-9, Mike Adams 30-20, Heath Bell 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Stauffer 6-4, Ryan Webb 1-1, Mike Adams 3-1, Heath Bell 1-1
Batters Faced - Tim Stauffer 22, Ryan Webb 5, Joe Thatcher 3, Mike Adams 6, Heath Bell 4
Colorado Rockies
Seth Smith, LF4121113 .302
Dexter Fowler, CF4110013 .270
Todd Helton, 1B2001202 .317
Troy Tulowitzki, SS5011012 .288
Brad Hawpe, RF3000122 .285
    Matt Daley, P0000000 .000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
Yorvit Torrealba, C3000103 .283
Ian Stewart, 3B3000110 .229
Clint Barmes, 2B3120102 .247
Jason Marquis, P0000000 .180
    Matt Herges, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Young Jr., PH1000001 .265
    Jhoulys Chacin, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Murton, PH1000011 .240
    Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Spilborghs, RF1000001 .248
Totals3036377  
a-grounded out for Herges in the 5th
b-struck out for Chacin in the 6th
Batting
2B - Seth Smith (19, Bell), Dexter Fowler (28, Thatcher), Clint Barmes (29, Stauffer)
SF - Todd Helton (9)
SH - Jason Marquis (9)
RBI - Seth Smith (53), Todd Helton (80), Troy Tulowitzki (83)
2-OUT RBI - Troy Tulowitzki (22)
CS - Dexter Fowler (10, 2nd base by Stauffer/Hundley)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Matt Herges (1, Missed catch of throw)
Colorado Rockies
Jason Marquis (L,15-12) 4.2565561 3.98
Matt Herges 0.1000110 3.44
Jhoulys Chacin 1000000 5.06
Joel Peralta 1000110 6.20
Randy Flores 0.2100000 5.56
Matt Daley 0.1000000 3.66
Joe Beimel 1000010 3.54
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 98-54, Matt Herges 16-8, Jhoulys Chacin 12-9, Joel Peralta 18-12, Randy Flores 16-11, Matt Daley 2-2, Joe Beimel 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 5-3, Matt Herges 1-0, Jhoulys Chacin 1-2, Joel Peralta 1-1, Randy Flores 2-0, Joe Beimel 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 24, Matt Herges 3, Jhoulys Chacin 3, Joel Peralta 4, Randy Flores 3, Matt Daley 1, Joe Beimel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29597
Game Time - 3:26
Temperature - 48
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Ron Kulpa