SAN DIEGO -- Rookie Ryan McMahon spent much of Thursday afternoon watching Rockies starter Tyler Anderson baffle the Padres for six scoreless innings, while the defense made a series of dazzling plays. He wanted to do something.The best he could do was nothing. McMahon drew a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk from
SAN DIEGO -- Rookie Ryan McMahon spent much of Thursday afternoon watching Rockies starter Tyler Anderson baffle the Padres for six scoreless innings, while the defense made a series of dazzling plays. He wanted to do something.
The best he could do was nothing. McMahon drew a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk from Padres reliever Brad Hand in the top of the ninth to break a scoreless tie and open the door to a 3-1 Rockies victory at Petco Park.
DJ LeMahieu followed with a two-out, two-run single -- a necessary contribution because the Padres' Manuel Margot opened the bottom of the ninth with a homer off Wade Davis, who would go on to record his fourth save. At any rate, the Rockies will arrive Friday for their Coors Field opener against the Braves with a 4-3 record, based on contributions from all over the diamond.
McMahon -- the club's No. 2 prospect who made the team with an impressive Spring Training but has had trouble finding playing time, much less his swing -- was happy to have a tangible contribution, even if it meant keeping the bat on his shoulder. Hand walked three, and the Padres ended their season-opening homestand 1-6.
"I hadn't really done much to help the team, so it feels good to get out of here, help get a win and come home for Opening Day," said McMahon, who grounded out in his other plate appearance after entering the day as a reserve who was 0-for-9 with five strikeouts -- but now has one big game-winning RBI.
LeMahieu said of his hit, "I definitely didn't want to let him off the hook with the inning he was having."
The season started with poor starts by Jon Gray and Anderson in losses at Arizona. But those games were valuable because they underscored the adage that all the hitting in the world -- and the Rockies have plenty -- can't make up for poor starting pitching. They had five homers in the two losses to the D-backs.
But starting with German Marquez, who gave up no earned runs in five innings at Arizona on Saturday and will start Friday against the Braves, the starts since have all been solid. After Gray's seven scoreless innings in Wednesday night's 5-2 victory, it was Anderson's turn to point the right way after giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings at Arizona.
Anderson was helped by shortstop Trevor Story's leaping stab of a Freddy Galvis liner to end the second and third baseman Nolan Arenado's dazzling snare on an Austin Hedges liner in the third. But Anderson held the Padres to four hits and no walks, and struck out four -- including Hedges swinging and Chase Headley looking in the fifth after consecutive one-out singles.
Padres rookie lefty Joey Lucchesi gave up a first-inning leadoff single to Charlie Blackmon, but no other hits while striking out seven in five innings, meaning Anderson had to be sharp.
"That first game was one of those where there were a lot of pitches where I barely missed, I was trying to be too perfect," Anderson said. "All of a sudden it's 2-0 and you made two pretty good pitches. Today, I just took that out of the equation."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
If at first you don't succeed, you can still succeed: Rockies right fielder Gerardo Parra dove for Galvis' one-out lined single in the bottom of the seventh inning, which bounced in front of him. Parra, however, blocked the ball, then erased Hunter Renfroe -- attempting to go first-to-third -- with a strike of a throw.
He was helped by Story's actions, which fooled Renfroe into thinking Parra had caught Galvis' drive before it hit the ground.
"I saw the guy stop while he was trying to go to third base, so I threw it and got him," Parra said.
The inning ended with catcher Chris Iannetta throwing out Galvis on a steal attempt of second. Had Renfroe reached third, it's possible Galvis' steal attempt would not have drawn a throw from Iannetta.
Infield tight, hitter's delight: That's what LeMahieu thought went he smoked a grounder to shortstop Galvis in the top of the eighth. But Galvis made a diving stop, held Blackmon at third, and retired LeMahieu at first.
"It's no coincidence that DJ has won a Gold Glove, and Nolan's won a Gold Glove -- or five." -- Rockies manager Bud Black, while discussing the Rockies' defense all around the diamond
Righty Marquez starts Friday's home opener against the Braves at 2:10 p.m. MT, with cold weather in the forecast. His first 2017 start, on a wet, windy night last April 25, was disappointing -- four innings, nine hits, eight runs in a loss to the Nationals. But on May 10, on a wet, 53-degree day, he held the Cubs scoreless on three hits over eight innings of a 3-0 win.
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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.