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San Diego at Colorado

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San Diego (71-83) «0000102205101
Colorado (86-67)3000000104110

Hundley, Padres deal wild card-leading Rockies another loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies insist they're not feeling the squeeze as the NL wild-card race tightens around them.

"We control our destiny still," shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said after the Rockies' 5-4 loss to the San Diego Padres on Thursday night trimmed their lead to 3½ games on idle Atlanta. "I think we're in a good spot."

San Francisco had a chance to pull within three games of Colorado but lost 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs on former Rockies infielder-outfielder Jeff Baker's two-run homer in the ninth. The Giants remain four games back.

 Playoff Race

"Obviously, it would have been good to win tonight to put some more pressure on them," Tulowitzki said. "But we control it. If we win some games, we're going to win it."

Next up for the Rockies are the St. Louis Cardinals, a possible first-round playoff opponent. The Cardinals begin a weekend series at Coors Field on Friday night that features the return of slugger Matt Holliday for the first time since his trade to Oakland last winter.

Two of the players the Rockies got in return -- closer Huston Street and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez -- have played major roles in the Rockies' playoff push. Holliday was dealt to the Cardinals this summer and helped them take command of the NL Central.

The Cardinals are bringing their cases of champagne in hopes of clinching a playoff spot this weekend. The Rockies insist they'll have their own celebration soon.

The Padres, however, played as though they were the ones in a playoff race, winning two of three in Colorado.

"It's big for this young club," infielder David Eckstein said. "We are a club that wants to shoot for those clubs and be there next year."

Nick Hundley hit a home run to start the comeback from a 3-0 deficit courtesy of Tulowitzki's 30th home run on Thursday night and then drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single off Rafael Betancourt.

Joe Beimel (1-6) took the loss for Colorado, allowing one run while getting only two outs, and Adam Russell (3-1) retired the only batter he faced to pick up the victory. Rookie right-hander Luke Gregerson got five outs for his first career save in six chances.

Tulowitzki gave the Rockies an early 3-0 lead with a three-run homer off Clayton Richard in the first inning, but Colorado's bats went silent after that.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who is 68-39 since taking over in May, said he had no regrets over letting starting pitcher Jason Hammel hit for himself with two outs in the sixth and runners at second and third with Colorado clinging to a 3-1 lead.

Nor did Tracy rue his decision to pull Hammel after he faced only two batters the next inning even though he had thrown only 87 pitches. Tracy said it made the most sense with the hitters who were coming up and the relievers he had at the ready.

Struggling left-hander Franklin Morales, however, threw 11 balls and only four strikes, giving up a bloop single and walking to batters, including one with the bases loaded to send home a run and make it 3-2.

Matt Daley came in and surrendered a sacrifice fly to David Eckstein that tied it before Beimel got the final out.

In the eighth, Hundley broke the tie with an RBI single off Betancourt, stole second base -- TV replays show he should have been called out -- and scored on Tony Gwynn's single to make it 5-3.

The Rockies got a run back in the bottom half when Ian Stewart hit his 25th home run, off Ryan Webb with one out. Clint Barmes followed with a single and the Padres brought in Gregerson, who struck out pinch-hitters Jason Giambi and Carlos Gonzalez.

Gregerson gave up a one-out single to Dexter Fowler in the ninth but got Todd Helton on a flyout to left and Tulowitzki to pop out to first base to end it.

Hammel, who allowed only two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, was seeking to become the fifth Rockies starter to post double-digit victories. His only mistake was a pitch that Hundley hit for his eighth home run in the fifth, making it 3-1.

The Rockies have lost seven of 11 but Tracy said he's not concerned about his team's trajectory.

"The mathematics are totally in our favor," he said. "If we can win a few baseball games, we're going to make it."

Notes

  • Richard allowed three runs, two of them earned, on seven hits in six innings.
  • Tulowitzki is trying to become the first SS in major league history to hit 25 or more home runs and field .990.
 
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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Nick Hundley plays a big part in the Padres' comeback with a home run and the go-ahead hit in the eighth.  (AP)
Nick Hundley plays a big part in the Padres' comeback with a home run and the go-ahead hit in the eighth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

T. Tulowitzki
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
San Diego

N. Hundley
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
San Diego Padres
Everth Cabrera, SS4001131 .259
David Eckstein, 2B4021010 .262
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B5000024 .272
Chase Headley, 3B4110012 .264
Will Venable, RF3000012 .270
Oscar Salazar, LF4020001 .333
Nick Hundley, C4322012 .235
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF4131000 .272
Clayton Richard, P1000000 .100
   a- Henry Blanco, PH0000100 .235
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
    Adam Russell, P0000000 .000
   b- Drew Macias, PH1000001 .200
    Ryan Webb, P0000000 .000
    Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
Totals34510529  
a-walked for Richard in the 7th
b-grounded out for Russell in the 8th
Batting
3B - Oscar Salazar (2, Hammel)
HR - Nick Hundley (8, Hammel)
SF - David Eckstein (4)
SH - Will Venable (1), Clayton Richard (3)
RBI - Everth Cabrera (31), David Eckstein (46), Nick Hundley 2 (29), Tony Gwynn Jr. (19)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Hundley (7), Tony Gwynn Jr. (7)
SB - Nick Hundley (3, 2nd base off Betancourt/Iannetta), Tony Gwynn Jr. (9, 2nd base off Betancourt/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Eckstein-Gonzalez
E - Everth Cabrera (19, Misplayed grounder)
San Diego Padres
Clayton Richard 6732221 4.62
Joe Thatcher 0.2100010 2.55
Adam Russell (W,3-1) 0.1000000 3.60
Ryan Webb (H,5) 0.1211001 3.91
Luke Gregerson (S,1) 1.2100020 2.89
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Richard 95-59, Joe Thatcher 17-12, Adam Russell 4-3, Ryan Webb 7-5, Luke Gregerson 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Richard 8-8, Adam Russell 1-0, Ryan Webb 1-0, Luke Gregerson 1-2
Batters Faced - Clayton Richard 27, Joe Thatcher 3, Adam Russell 1, Ryan Webb 3, Luke Gregerson 6
Colorado Rockies
Seth Smith, LF4100101 .298
Dexter Fowler, CF5020002 .272
Todd Helton, 1B5120012 .318
Troy Tulowitzki, SS5123003 .289
Ryan Spilborghs, RF4000001 .246
Garrett Atkins, 3B3010000 .223
    Mike McCoy, PR0000000 .000
    Ian Stewart, 3B1111000 .231
Clint Barmes, 2B4020000 .249
Chris Iannetta, C2010112 .225
   a- Jason Giambi, PH1000011 .204
    Yorvit Torrealba, C0000000 .283
Jason Hammel, P2000013 .113
    Franklin Morales, P0000000 .400
    Matt Daley, P0000000 .000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
   b- Carlos Gonzalez, PH1000011 .279
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Totals37411425  
a-struck out for Iannetta in the 8th
b-struck out for Betancourt in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Iannetta (14, Richard)
HR - Troy Tulowitzki (30, Richard), Ian Stewart (25, Webb)
SH - Jason Hammel (3)
RBI - Troy Tulowitzki 3 (86), Ian Stewart (70)
SB - Mike McCoy (1, 3rd base off Richard/Hundley), Clint Barmes (12, 2nd base off Richard/Hundley)
Team LOB - 9
Colorado Rockies
Jason Hammel 6.1622061 4.30
Franklin Morales0111200 3.29
Matt Daley (BS,3) 0.1000000 3.64
Joe Beimel (L,1-6) 0.2111000 3.67
Rafael Betancourt 0.2211000 2.96
Huston Street 1000030 2.88
WP - Jason Hammel (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 87-57, Franklin Morales 15-4, Matt Daley 4-3, Joe Beimel 7-5, Rafael Betancourt 16-10, Huston Street 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 9-4, Joe Beimel 1-1, Rafael Betancourt 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 25, Franklin Morales 3, Matt Daley 1, Joe Beimel 3, Rafael Betancourt 4, Huston Street 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37049
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Rob Drake