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San Diego at Colorado

Scoreboard
San Diego (82-62) «2002000217162
Colorado (79-66)0003000126102

Padres survive Rockies' rally, extend division lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- Heath Bell found a way to get out of trouble and give the San Diego Padres some breathing room.

Bell induced a game-ending double play with the winning run on first, pinch-hitter Matt Stairs hit a two-run homer in the eighth and the Padres hung on to beat the Colorado Rockies 7-6 on Tuesday night to maintain their lead in the NL West.

That victory, coupled with San Francisco's 1-0 loss to Los Angeles, and San Diego suddenly had a 1½-game cushion in the division.

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Scott Miller Scott Miller
After a season-long search for an adequate leadoff hitter, the Padres get an encouraging performance from young Aaron Cunningham. Read More >>
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The Padres couldn't have picked a better time to win their first series against the Rockies this season, taking the first two of this pivotal three-game set.

"Every game is big one this time of year. Every team will tell you that," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The Rockies are tough and they're especially tough at home."

The Rockies, who had their 10-game winning streak halted the night before, tumbled again, dropping them 3½ games behind San Diego. They remain 3½ games behind Atlanta in the NL wild-card race after the Braves were beaten 6-0 by Washington.

"We're not done by any stretch of the imagination," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We still have got baseball left to play. It's still all in front of us."

It was all in front of the Rockies in the ninth. They scored two runs, had runners on first and second with one out and Bell teetering on the brink of a blown game.

But Bell got Eric Young Jr. to ground sharply to shortstop Miguel Tejada, who ranged to his left and stepped on second before firing to first and getting the speedy Young by a step.

"For us to win the first game was really big, and to come in and win a game like this, especially me not having it," Bell said. "I mean, they were rallying back and they seemed like they had my number, but I made a good pitch at the end. ... It's definitely a big win for us."

Bell has been brilliant in recent weeks, previously saving 28 straight. His 29th in a row, though, wouldn't be easy.

He got off to a good start when he was summoned into the game with two outs in the eighth with the Rockies threatening. Bell ended the inning by getting hot-hitting Troy Tulowitzki to fly out.

He pumped his fist as he left the mound.

In the top of the ninth, Nick Hundley had a sacrifice fly to make it a 7-4 game.

Bell needed it as he was shaky in the final frame, allowing an RBI double to Melvin Mora after Todd Helton led off the inning with a double. Pinch-hitter Jay Payton later singled in a run as well, making it a one-run game and bringing the fans to their feet in hopes of another late-inning comeback.

He walked pinch-hitter Jason Giambi before quashing the Rockies' comeback and quieting the stunned crowd.

"I just felt like today was one of those days that I just didn't feel like I had my 'A' game," Bell said. "I probably had my 'B' or 'C' game, and when you have your 'B' or 'C' game, you've got to figure out a way to get people out. I managed to make a couple of good pitches and get myself out of the jam."

Stairs added some valuable insurance with his major-league best 22nd pinch-hit home run of his career in the eighth.

"Hurt an awful lot," Tracy said of Stairs' home run. "It really did."

Jon Garland (14-11) snapped a three-game slide, allowing three runs -- one earned -- and four hits. He also helped himself at the plate, going 2 for 2 with a walk and a double.

The Rockies had another rough outing from a starter as Jason Hammel (10-8) struggled all night, giving up four runs and a season-high 10 hits in four innings, his shortest outing since late June.

"The Padres were prepared for me," Hammel said. "I think I got ambushed tonight. They came out and were swinging early. They were aggressive early and I kind of played right into their hands. I'm disappointed I didn't brush somebody back and pull somebody off the plate.

"Obviously, I didn't do my job as a pitcher tonight."

Notes

  • Helton hit his 526th career double in the ninth, tying him for 34th place with Dave Parker on the all-time list.
  • Three of Stairs' four home runs this season have come in a pinch-hitting capacity.
  • Padres SS Tejada and OF Ryan Ludwick each added RBI singles in the first.
 
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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Infielders Miguel Tejada and David Eckstein combine for four hits and three RBI as the Padres extend their slim NL West lead. (AP)
Infielders Miguel Tejada and David Eckstein combine for four hits and three RBI as the Padres extend their slim NL West lead. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

A. Cunningham
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Colorado

C. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
 
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Aaron Cunningham, LF5230011 .327
David Eckstein, 2B5122011 .270
Miguel Tejada, SS5121011 .268
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3000201 .305
Ryan Ludwick, RF5031012 .265
    Tony Gwynn Jr., CF0000000 .212
Chase Headley, 3B5010016 .264
Nick Hundley, C4011021 .256
Will Venable, CF-RF4110110 .226
Jon Garland, P2120100 .231
   a- Matt Stairs, PH1112000 .226
    Mike Adams, P0000000 .000
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
    Heath Bell, P1000003 .000
Totals40716748  
a-homered for Garland in the 8th
Batting
2B - Aaron Cunningham (11, Hammel), David Eckstein (21, Hammel), Miguel Tejada (25, Escalona), Jon Garland (1, Delcarmen)
HR - Matt Stairs (4, Betancourt)
SF - Nick Hundley (5)
RBI - David Eckstein 2 (27), Miguel Tejada (62), Ryan Ludwick (61), Nick Hundley (40), Matt Stairs 2 (14)
2-OUT RBI - David Eckstein 2 (16)
PK - Nick Hundley (2, Hammel)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Eckstein-Gonzalez, Tejada-Gonzalez
E - Adrian Gonzalez (6, Misplayed grounder), Will Venable (4, Misplayed grounder)
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Garland (W,14-11) 7431060 3.44
Mike Adams (H,33) 0.2211000 1.86
Joe Thatcher0100000 1.38
Heath Bell (S,42) 1.1322100 1.90
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Garland 86-62, Mike Adams 8-6, Joe Thatcher 6-4, Heath Bell 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Garland 12-3, Heath Bell 1-2
Batters Faced - Jon Garland 25, Mike Adams 4, Joe Thatcher 1, Heath Bell 7
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Eric Young Jr., 2B5100012 .265
Dexter Fowler, CF4120020 .252
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4133000 .340
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4010003 .322
Todd Helton, 1B3111000 .253
Melvin Mora, 3B4111011 .277
Seth Smith, RF4000011 .251
Miguel Olivo, C3000000 .273
   a- Jay Payton, PH1011000 .400
Jason Hammel, P1000000 .115
    Manny Delcarmen, P1000010 .000
    Matt Reynolds, P0000000 .000
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .250
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1110000 .285
    Edgmer Escalona, P0000000 .000
   c- Jason Giambi, PH0000100 .258
    Chris Nelson, PR0000000 .556
Totals35610616  
a-singled for Olivo in the 9th
b-singled for Betancourt in the 8th
c-walked for Escalona in the 9th
Batting
2B - Carlos Gonzalez (32, Garland), Todd Helton (17, Bell), Melvin Mora (11, Bell)
SF - Todd Helton (5)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 3 (104), Todd Helton (31), Melvin Mora (31), Jay Payton (1)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (32)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Mora-Young-Helton, Mora-Helton, Helton-Tulowitzki-Hammel
E - Eric Young Jr. 2 (6, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Hammel (L,10-8) 41044230 4.45
Manny Delcarmen 2.1100010 4.99
Matt Reynolds 0.1000000 2.19
Matt Belisle 0.1100000 2.64
Rafael Betancourt 1222031 4.09
Edgmer Escalona 1211210 4.50
IBB - Gonzalez by Edgmer Escalona, by Venable
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 59-38, Manny Delcarmen 30-20, Matt Reynolds 3-2, Matt Belisle 13-9, Rafael Betancourt 19-14, Edgmer Escalona 33-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 6-0, Manny Delcarmen 4-3, Matt Belisle 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 21, Manny Delcarmen 9, Matt Reynolds 1, Matt Belisle 2, Rafael Betancourt 5, Edgmer Escalona 7
Game Information
Attendance - 40532
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Larry Vanover