|San Diego (81-62) «||2||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||1||6||11||0|
Tejada tied a season high with four RBI and San Diego snapped the Rockies' 10-game winning streak with a 6-4 victory Monday night that gave the Padres a half-game lead over San Francisco.
So why are the Rockies so hot this September? Well, for one thing, Troy Tulowitzki and other Colorado stars are over their midseason injuries. Read More >>
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"It's a huge game for us because of the way Colorado's played," Tejada said. "To come in here and win is special."
The Padres led the division by six games two weeks ago, but it's been a struggle since. Losers of three of their previous four, they entered the night percentage points ahead of the Giants and were in danger of falling out of at least a share of the NL West lead for the first time since June 16.
Tejada made sure that didn't happen, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning and driving in two more with a two-out single in the fifth.
It was Ryan Ludwick's RBI single later in the fifth that gave the Padres a 5-0 lead and ended up being the difference as Colorado rallied back. Pinch-hitter Oscar Salazar added a little more breathing room with a solo home run in the ninth.
The Rockies fell 2½ games back in the division and 3½ behind Atlanta in the NL wild-card race. They hadn't lost since Sept. 2 against Philadelphia, a defeat that left many thinking the Rockies were all but finished.
"We've made a mad dash back," manager Jim Tracy said. "We have to bounce back."
Rookie starter Cory Luebke was masterful through 4 2/3 innings, but the Rockies finally figured him out in the fifth. The lefty allowed a two-out, run-scoring single to NL Triple Crown contender Carlos Gonzalez and then a three-run homer to Troy Tulowitzki, the reigning NL player of the week.
The Padres used five relievers to bridge the gap to closer Heath Bell, including Mike Adams in the eighth. He got pinch-hitter Jason Giambi -- who hit a game-winning homer the day before -- to line hard to Adrian Gonzalez at first base for an inning-ending double play.
Bell had a shaky ninth, putting a runner on before getting Carlos Gonzalez, the NL's leading hitter, to ground out to end the game.
Bell's strategy? Go straight after Gonzalez.
"You've got to face one of the hottest hitters -- let's see what happens," said Bell, who converted his 28th consecutive save opportunity. "Tonight, I broke his bat and I won. Hopefully, I won't have to face him tomorrow because he's going to want revenge."
Battling shoulder soreness, Francis was kept on a strict pitch count against the Padres. Tracy pulled him for a pinch hitter after he went three innings and reached 62 pitches.
The lefty gave up five hits and two runs, most of the damage coming in a 34-pitch first. He left an 89 mph fastball up to Tejada, who hit it into the left-field stands for a two-run homer.
"A bad pitch to a team like that and it's usually going to cost you," Francis said.
Colorado's 10-game winning streak was the third-longest in team history. The Rockies rattled off 11 in a row in June 2009, shortly after Tracy took over. They also won 11 straight in September 2007, propelling them on their run to the World Series, where they were swept by Boston.
|Heath Bell converts his 28th save opportunity in a row, Miguel Tejeda has four RBI, and the Padres earn a crucial victory. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|San Diego Padres|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.249|
|Mike Adams, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Oscar Salazar, PH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.233|
|Heath Bell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Aaron Cunningham, LF||4||2||2||0||1||1||0||.313|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||4||2||3||4||0||1||1||.267|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||.306|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.261|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.212|
|Chase Headley, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.264|
|Chris Denorfia, CF||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.266|
|b- Will Venable, PH-CF^RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.226|
|Yorvit Torrealba, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Cory Luebke, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.000|
|Ernesto Frieri, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Mike Baxter, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Webb, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Thatcher, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Luke Gregerson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|David Eckstein, 2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.269|
|a-homered for Adams in the 9th|
|b-grounded out for Denorfia in the 6th|
|c-grounded out for Frieri in the 6th|
|HR - Oscar Salazar (3, Morales), Miguel Tejada (13, Francis)|
|RBI - Oscar Salazar (19), Miguel Tejada 4 (61), Ryan Ludwick (60)|
|2-OUT RBI - Oscar Salazar (3), Miguel Tejada 2 (15), Ryan Ludwick (19)|
|SB - Aaron Cunningham (1, 2nd base off Francis/Olivo)|
|CS - Will Venable (5, 2nd base by M. Reynolds/Olivo)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Ryan Ludwick 1|
|DP - Gonzalez|
|San Diego Padres|
|Ernesto Frieri (W,1-1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.19|
|Ryan Webb (H,7)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||2.87|
|Joe Thatcher (H,11)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.38|
|Luke Gregerson (H,35)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.26|
|Mike Adams (H,32)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.73|
|Heath Bell (S,41)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||1.64|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cory Luebke 91-57, Ernesto Frieri 4-3, Ryan Webb 16-10, Joe Thatcher 6-4, Luke Gregerson 8-6, Mike Adams 18-15, Heath Bell 17-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cory Luebke 3-5, Ernesto Frieri 1-0, Mike Adams 1-1, Heath Bell 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Cory Luebke 24, Ernesto Frieri 1, Ryan Webb 4, Joe Thatcher 1, Luke Gregerson 2, Mike Adams 3, Heath Bell 4|
|Eric Young Jr., 2B||5||0||1||0||0||0||3||.275|
|Dexter Fowler, CF||4||1||1||0||1||1||3||.249|
|Carlos Gonzalez, LF||5||1||2||1||0||2||2||.337|
|Troy Tulowitzki, SS||4||1||1||3||0||1||1||.323|
|Melvin Mora, 3B-1B||4||0||2||0||0||2||0||.278|
|Todd Helton, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.252|
|Clint Barmes, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.233|
|Paul Phillips, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.278|
|Ryan Spilborghs, RF||3||0||1||0||0||1||3||.283|
|Matt Belisle, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Matt Reynolds, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Jonathan Herrera, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.279|
|Miguel Olivo, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.275|
|b- Jason Giambi, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.258|
|Franklin Morales, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Francis, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.091|
|c- Jay Payton, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Esmil Rogers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.188|
|Joe Beimel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Chris Nelson, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.556|
|Seth Smith, RF||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.255|
|a-hit into fielder's choice for M. Reynolds in the 8th|
|b-lined out for Olivo in the 8th|
|c-doubled for Francis in the 3rd|
|d-singled for Beimel in the 5th|
|2B - Jay Payton (1, Luebke)|
|HR - Troy Tulowitzki (21, Luebke)|
|RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (101), Troy Tulowitzki 3 (75)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (31), Troy Tulowitzki 3 (22)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Carlos Gonzalez 1|
|E - Dexter Fowler (1, Misplayed grounder), Esmil Rogers (2, Throwing)|
|Jeff Francis (L,4-5)||3||5||2||2||0||2||1||4.61|
|WP - Matt Reynolds (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Francis 62-41, Esmil Rogers 36-24, Joe Beimel 18-13, Matt Belisle 24-18, Matt Reynolds 18-10, Franklin Morales 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Francis 5-1, Esmil Rogers 2-0, Joe Beimel 1-0, Matt Belisle 3-2, Matt Reynolds 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Francis 13, Esmil Rogers 8, Joe Beimel 3, Matt Belisle 6, Matt Reynolds 4, Franklin Morales 4|
|Attendance - 34089|
|Game Time - 3:22|
|Temperature - 87|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg|