DENVER -- Hunter Renfroe took command of Tuesday night's game against the Rockies, flashing leather to steal a hit early and blasting a decisive three-run home run to lift the Padres to a 5-2 win.With two outs in the seventh inning, Renfroe drove the first pitch he saw from Rockies
DENVER -- Hunter Renfroe took command of Tuesday night's game against the Rockies, flashing leather to steal a hit early and blasting a decisive three-run home run to lift the Padres to a 5-2 win.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Renfroe drove the first pitch he saw from Rockies reliever Bryan Shaw a Statcast-projected 385 feet over the right-field wall to break a 2-2 tie in a well-pitched game. It was the first homer of the season for Renfroe, who entered the game hitting .179 with one RBI and was in an 0-for-12 slump leading into the at-bat. The runs were the first allowed in seven appearances for Shaw.
"He had rough ABs against the lefty [starting pitcher Tyler Anderson] today, and that was a great swing on Shaw," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He had a single off Shaw at home, I remember, and then yesterday, he had about a seven-pitch at-bat where he swung through a fastball [and struck out in the eighth]. I felt like he was just on it, just missed it. He got that pitch again, and he didn't miss it today."
Renfroe made his mark earlier in the game with his glove, robbing DJ LeMahieu of a hit in the third. Renfroe charged hard for a fast-sinking liner to right, dove forward and caught it for the second out of the inning.
Padres starter Joey Lucchesi, the club's No. 9 prospect per MLB Pipeline, notched his first big league win in his third career game. The left-hander allowed two unearned runs on four hits over six-plus innings, striking out eight and lowering his ERA to 1.72. It was his first quality start, and he was the seventh pitcher in Padres history to allow no earned runs in at least six innings at Coors Field.
The Padres won their second straight game, clinching the series with the Rockies and doubling their season win total.
Colorado's only offense came in the first inning, when Lucchesi made a throwing error on a Chris Iannetta grounder to let him reach first, then later gave up a two-run homer to Trevor Story.
"I think it's like a learning thing that you go through if you play this [game] your whole life," Lucchesi said. "If you're going to get upset, it's just going to hurt you more. I knew I had an error in the first inning, so a lot of game left. I just locked it in and gave my team a chance to win."
Lucchesi has 15 strikeouts in 11 innings against the Rockies, who he pitched five scoreless frames against last Thursday.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hosmer reaches on backhand bobble: With two outs in the top of the seventh, Pat Valaika muffed an infield grounder to first hit by Eric Hosmer, which positioned Renfroe to hit his go-ahead, three-run homer on the next pitch. Hosmer's infield single extended the inning and prevented the Rockies from escaping to keep the game tied.
Makita makes it look easy: The Rockies appeared to be on the verge of an immediate rally in the seventh, but they ran into deceptive Padres reliever Kazuhisa Makita. With runners on second and third and no outs, Makita retired Ian Desmond, Gerardo Parra and Valaika to end the inning. It was the only time the Rockies had runners in scoring position.
"Maki was outstanding," Green said. "It's fun to watch when he comes in that situation, and you've got guys at first and third. I had the interpreter come to the mound and tell him, 'Hey, that guy at third, let him score and just get everybody else out.' He didn't listen to me. He didn't let him score. It was a thrill to watch him execute that."
"I'm not really the guy that throws hard, so I'm pleased to see that keeping the batters off-balance is working." -- Makita, through an interpreter, on how his submarine-style arsenal is playing against big league hitters
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With a fourth-inning single, Freddy Galvis has reached base safely in each of his first 12 games with San Diego. That's the longest active on-base streak to start the 2018 season in MLB.
The Padres hand the ball to Luis Perdomo for Wednesday's series finale at Colorado at 12:10 p.m. PT, hoping to see him carry over momentum from his five innings of one-run ball in a win against the Astros on Saturday. His slider was in great form, as he allowed four hits and three walks, while striking out four, at Houston.
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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.