|San Diego (71-83) «||0||0||0||0||1||0||2||2||0||5||10||1|
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.
"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.
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.
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."
|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|
Nike Rockies Blake Street Bombers 2013 Local T-Shirt - Purple Shop Now!
|San Diego Padres|
|Everth Cabrera, SS||4||0||0||1||1||3||1||.259|
|David Eckstein, 2B||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.262|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||2||4||.272|
|Chase Headley, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.264|
|Will Venable, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.270|
|Oscar Salazar, LF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.333|
|Nick Hundley, C||4||3||2||2||0||1||2||.235|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., CF||4||1||3||1||0||0||0||.272|
|Clayton Richard, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.100|
|a- Henry Blanco, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.235|
|Joe Thatcher, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Adam Russell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Drew Macias, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|Ryan Webb, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Luke Gregerson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Richard in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Russell in the 8th|
|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|
|DP - Cabrera-Eckstein-Gonzalez|
|E - Everth Cabrera (19, Misplayed grounder)|
|San Diego Padres|
|Adam Russell (W,3-1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.60|
|Ryan Webb (H,5)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0||1||3.91|
|Luke Gregerson (S,1)||1.2||1||0||0||0||2||0||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|
|Seth Smith, LF||4||1||0||0||1||0||1||.298|
|Dexter Fowler, CF||5||0||2||0||0||0||2||.272|
|Todd Helton, 1B||5||1||2||0||0||1||2||.318|
|Troy Tulowitzki, SS||5||1||2||3||0||0||3||.289|
|Ryan Spilborghs, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.246|
|Garrett Atkins, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.223|
|Mike McCoy, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ian Stewart, 3B||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.231|
|Clint Barmes, 2B||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.249|
|Chris Iannetta, C||2||0||1||0||1||1||2||.225|
|a- Jason Giambi, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.204|
|Yorvit Torrealba, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.283|
|Jason Hammel, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.113|
|Franklin Morales, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.400|
|Matt Daley, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Beimel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Rafael Betancourt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Carlos Gonzalez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.279|
|Huston Street, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Iannetta in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Betancourt in the 8th|
|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|
|Matt Daley (BS,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.64|
|Joe Beimel (L,1-6)||0.2||1||1||1||0||0||0||3.67|
|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|
|Attendance - 37049|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 60|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Rob Drake|