DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood tossed his fifth quality start in six outings, and Carlos Gonzalez knocked in four runs, as the Rockies topped the Padres, 5-3, on Saturday at Coors Field.The Rockies scored in the first inning for the second straight day against the Padres, with Charlie Blackmon and DJ
DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood tossed his fifth quality start in six outings, and Carlos Gonzalez knocked in four runs, as the Rockies topped the Padres, 5-3, on Saturday at Coors Field.
The Rockies scored in the first inning for the second straight day against the Padres, with Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu drawing walks followed by Gonzalez's 14th home run of the season. This came after Yangervis Solarte and Melvin Upton Jr. knocked in runs in the top of the first to give San Diego its only lead of the game.
"[You don't want to] put yourself behind like that, letting two free passes go and then first-pitch fastball to CarGo," newly-acquired Padres starter Erik Johnson said of his debut inning in a Padres uniform. "It's definitely an adjustment that you gotta to make [in Colorado], and the sooner the better."
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Chatwood was effective over 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts. He only allowed one extra base hit on the day, a fourth-inning double to Adam Rosales, who did not score. Blackmon hit the go-ahead home run in the fifth, as the Padres bats went silent, picking up two hits in the final four frames.
San Diego mounted a comeback in the ninth, getting the first two runners on after Matt Kemp doubled and Jason Motte hit Brett Wallace. But Carlos Estevez squashed the rally by retiring the next two batters, with Dustin Garneau throwing out pinch-runner Travis Jankowski stealing and LeMahieu applying an acrobatic tag to end the game.
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"That last one, I don't know how he caught the ball and made the tag. I really don't," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We figured Jankowski was going to run at some point, but DJ tends to fly under the radar -- I don't know why. He's having an outstanding year on both sides of the ball. He does that pretty regularly."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Striking back quickly: The Padres briefly tied the game in the fifth on a two-out single by Jon Jay, a play that ended with him being tagged out in a pickle. That score wouldn't last long, as Blackmon led off the bottom of the inning with a home run off the right-field foul pole. Gonzalez extended the lead three batters later with a single that knocked in LeMahieu.
"We did exactly what we wanted to do after a tough loss yesterday," Gonzalez said. "You've got to be able to bounce back, and that's exactly what we did. We knew we had a good chance to put that loss in the past with 'Chatty' on the mound, who's been great and has absolutely been our ace."
Get it while you can: After being shut out for eight innings the last time they faced Chatwood, the Padres were quick to the scoreboard Saturday, scoring a pair of runs in the first frame. Chatwood walked Wil Myers with one out and gave up a single to Kemp, then watched as Solarte plated a run with a grounder to second and Upton Jr. drove one home with a single to right.
"That first inning he was up in the zone, and we were able to plate a pair there," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He attacks. He's got good stuff. You look up and a guy's got a 2-something ERA at Coors, he knows how to pitch a little bit. He cuts it, he sinks it, and he ran it on our hands a lot, he cuts it away. You're in the box and the ball's moving in both directions.
"The velocity's close enough, the movement on the ball, the way it rotates is close enough that it's hard to distinguish sometimes. That cut-sink guy can be really effective. He was pretty effective against us today."
Replacing McGee: Rockies closer Jake McGee was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, the day after blowing a two-run lead to the Padres. In his place, Estevez earned his first Major League save with a perfect inning after taking over for Jason Motte, who allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach base. Motte and Estevez are expected to share closing duties in McGee's absence.
"We were trying to stay off [Estevez]," Weiss said. "He had a heavy load. I was going to give [Motte] two baserunners in the ninth, and I was hoping it wasn't going to be the first two. That's the way it worked out. Jason got us a big out in the eight. We tried to run him back out there. The first couple guys get on, and I went to Estevez. It's a tough situation for the kid, but he's done it several times this year. He's come in tough spots and put the inning down."
More Maurer:Brandon Maurer's perfect eighth inning was a bright spot for the Padres. Maurer struck out the side, fanning Trevor Story, Gerardo Parra, and Mark Reynolds after the trio went 4-for-8 in the first seven innings. It was the kind of momentum shifter that seemed to work, as the first two Padres reached base in the top of the ninth, putting the tying run on base before Estevez slammed the door shut.
"That's the first time I've seen his slider up to 90 miles per hour," Green said. "He was really ripping it today. The Parra at-bat he really locked in. He went probably six or seven fastballs away before he finally put the string on the changeup and punched him out. You saw depth on his sliders, you saw chases in the dirt today, you saw Story chasing him. That hasn't been the case in the past week-and-a-half, so it was good to see."
"He fought for that 'W.' I wouldn't say he was completely locked in, but true to form, he competes as well as you can compete, and he finds a way to battle when he doesn't have his 'A' stuff. That's what I felt like he did today. He didn't have his 'A' stuff, but he found a way to get us a 'W.'" -- Weiss, on Chatwood.
"Part of the thought process all along was we acquired him to find out who he is. Let's figure that out." -- Green, on sticking with Johnson in the rotation
Solarte left the game for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fourth with a left thumb contusion. More >
Weiss challenged the call when LeMahieu was thrown out stealing second to end the seventh inning. The replay official conclusively determined that LeMahieu was out, confirming the call.
Padres:Christian Friedrich faces his old teammates on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT for the first time since Colorado released him before Spring Training this year and he subsequently signed with San Diego. Friedrich pitched for parts of three seasons (2012, 2014-15) with the Rockies, and he has a 2-9 record with a 6.96 ERA in 49 games (9 starts) at Coors Field.
Rockies: Tyler Anderson will make his Major League debut Sunday at 2 p.m. MT against the Padres. Anderson, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has a 2.35 ERA over 30 2/3 innings with 30 strikeouts across three levels this season, including a 2.12 ERA over three starts for Triple-A Albuquerque.
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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Padres on Saturday.
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.