SAN DIEGO -- Melvin Upton Jr. stole home, and Drew Pomeranz stole the rest of the show Friday night at Petco Park, as the Padres blanked the Rockies, 4-0.Pomeranz, coming off his first shaky start as a Padre, was back in fine form, allowing just two hits over seven shutout
SAN DIEGO -- Melvin Upton Jr. stole home, and Drew Pomeranz stole the rest of the show Friday night at Petco Park, as the Padres blanked the Rockies, 4-0.
Pomeranz, coming off his first shaky start as a Padre, was back in fine form, allowing just two hits over seven shutout frames -- one of which was a third-inning tapper that barely reached the mound. The Padres' left-hander recorded eight strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.22, which is good enough for eighth in the Majors.
"He's having a good year; he's very different than what we remember," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Pomeranz, whose first Major League outings were with the Rockies. "He's a better pitcher than he was back then."
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Matt Kemp provided all the offense the Padres needed with a three-run first-inning moonshot off the wall below the left-field scoreboard. Upton would score the game's final run three innings later, using a remarkably crafty slide to swipe home against Rockies left-hander Chris Rusin.
"I don't know how I did it," Upton said. "But I got around the tag."
Rusin was extremely efficient on the night, needing just 90 pitches to get through seven innings. But he allowed all four runs (three earned) -- on four hits -- and took the loss. Offensively for Colorado, Charlie Blackmon extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a third-inning walk.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Matt Kemp, destroyer of baseballs: Kemp's first-inning dinger traveled halfway to San Diego Bay. At a projected 451 feet, it was the longest homer hit by a Padre at Petco Park in the Statcast™ era. Only a pair of dingers at Coors Field -- one by Kemp and one by Wil Myers -- have traveled farther off the bat of a Padres hitter this season.
"It was good to get on the board early, get Pomeranz some runs, get him a cushion," Kemp said. "He went out there, did his job. We got another run from Melvin. Bullpen did a good job tonight, as well. Good team win."
Make me wanna holler: After that first inning, television cameras caught Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado yelling in the dugout. Catcher Nick Hundley stepped in front of him, and Weiss and third-base coach Stu Cole also were in front of him. Much speculation broke out on the internet about what Arenado was upset about. Some believed the tirade was warranted, but it didn't reverse the team's fortunes. The Rockies finished with two hits..
"I didn't do it to light a fire," Arenado said. "I was just upset. If it lights a fire, great. But at the end of the day we didn't play good baseball today and we haven't played good baseball for the last week." More >
The jet stole home!: With one of the best baserunning plays you'll ever see, Upton became the first Padre to record a straight steal of home since Everth Cabrera did so in 2012. Upton timed his break perfectly -- as Pomeranz looked at strike one -- and barely avoided the tag of catcher Hundley with a pristine slide.
"I knew that he had a slow delivery to the plate out of the windup and kind of extended my lead," Upton said. "When he didn't give me a peek, I took off." More >
Could have looked better: Before yielding the homer to Kemp, Rusin threw wildly to second on Myers' bouncer to the mound in an attempt to start a double play. Had he made a better throw, Kemp's homer would have merely been a solo shot and Rusin's seven-inning outing -- seven innings, four hits, four runs, three earned -- would have looked much better.
"Aside from that first inning, I executed the gameplan I brought into the game," Rusin said. "It's unfortunate I didn't execute when Kemp was up."
"There's actually a moment of anxiety because you've got Drew Pomeranz at the plate, and nobody's told him not to swing the bat. When he came home I was just glad Drew didn't swing and heck of a slide huh? Almost Matrix-esque." -- Padres manager Andy Green on Upton's steal
Rockies: Righty Chad Bettis (4-4, 5.46 ERA), looking to break a two-start losing streak, will face the Padres on Saturday at 8:10 p.m. MT. Bettis is 0-0 with a 2.53 ERA with four walks and 10 strikeouts in four games, including two starts, at Petco Park.
Padres:Andrew Cashner gets the ball Saturday night against the Rockies with first pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. PT. The hard-throwing right-hander was solid for five frames in Seattle before allowing four runs in the sixth. In his lone start against the Rockies this season, Cashner allowed three runs on five hits over six frames.
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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.