DENVER -- The Rockies had been seeking an offensive awakening after losing four of their first five on their season-opening homestand. But they likely didn't think a breakout would manifest on the heels of their top run producer being ejected.A benches- and bullpen-clearing fracas ensued after Padres starter Luis Perdomo
DENVER -- The Rockies had been seeking an offensive awakening after losing four of their first five on their season-opening homestand. But they likely didn't think a breakout would manifest on the heels of their top run producer being ejected.
A benches- and bullpen-clearing fracas ensued after Padres starter Luis Perdomo threw behind Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado, sparking an immediate five-run inning that the Rockies rode to a 6-4 win over the Padres on Wednesday.
Arenado was ejected for charging the mound after dodging an inside fastball from Perdomo on the first pitch in the bottom of the third. Perdomo, who wasn't seen throwing punches, was also ejected, as were Padres catcher A.J. Ellis, Rockies starter German Marquez and left fielder Gerardo Parra, who each threw fists.
The fracas was likely a follow-up to Manuel Margot taking a 95-mph fastball to his left ribs from Rockies reliever Scott Oberg in Tuesday's 5-2 Padres win. Though Oberg indicated no ill intent, approaching Padres third-base coach Glenn Hoffman indicating as much, Perdomo's intentions on Wednesday seemed clear.
The Rockies had been mired in an offensive rut since their home opener on Friday, hitting a collective .212 with just 14 runs in five games. Their lone win in that stretch manifested via a walk-off walk on Saturday.
"I'm just happy we won," Arenado said. "We got some runs, and that was good."
The fracas seemingly overshadowed a complete game from the Rockies in all phases. Their bench players -- first baseman Ryan McMahon, outfielder Mike Tauchman and Pat Valaika, who were a combined 3-for-55 entering Wednesday -- each reached base. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu collected a season-high three hits. Backup catcher Tony Wolters, who started, had a two-run single that led to three runs.
Marquez was lifted in the middle of what was developing as a promising start, particularly after giving up seven earned runs in Colorado's home opener on Friday. The high-velocity righty tossed three scoreless innings and struck out four of the 11 he faced, with three on his curveball.
"I was really throwing the ball well and felt like I could have gone deep into the game," Marquez said through an interpreter.
Needing essentially seven full innings from their bullpen, which was spotless Monday, the Padres turned to relievers Buddy Baumann, Adam Cimber and Phil Maton.
Franchy Cordero and Eric Hosmer homered for the Padres, but Rockies closer Wade Davis closed it out with a perfect ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Benches clear: Before Arenado could land a punch to a retreating Perdomo, both benches and bullpens had dispersed across the left side of the infield, primarily attempting to separate the two. Ellis and Parra were also in the middle of the heated exchange, as was Marquez. Perdomo later said the pitch wasn't intentional, though many players on both sides acknowledged that tensions were running high due to the multiple hit batsmen the past two games. More >>
"Nolan reacted to a ball thrown behind his head," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He reacted. I'm sure that he felt that that was intentional, and he wasn't going to have it."
Added Arenado: "I wasn't really expecting to get hit. I had a feeling they could probably do it to someone -- I didn't think it was going to be me."
Said Padres manager Andy Green: "They're pitching in aggressively. It's clearly part of the philosophy. We don't begrudge a team pitching in aggressively. We've done it as well. We've tried to come in more on guys. We've tried to come in on Nolan, knowing he's one of the best players in the National League."
Rockies rally after Arenado departs: Immediately after Arenado was ejected, the Rockies batted through the order en route to five runs that were enough to put the Padres away. Ian Desmond pinch-hit for Arenado, reached on a fielding error, swiping second base and scoring on a Carlos Gonzalez single to right. Trevor Story then walked, Tauchman -- who filled in for Charlie Blackmon the second day in a row -- moved the pair over with a sacrifice bunt. Valaika, who pinch-hit for Marquez and took over at third for Arenado, notched his first RBI of the year to cap the rally.
"We don't show up to the ballpark to create that kind of atmosphere. We understand that there are a lot of kids watching us play. There are a lot of kids who love No. 28 [Arenado], and that's the last thing they want to see. We're human beings and everyone reacts different. We all make mistakes, if you want to call it that way. But no matter what, we've always got each other. Nolan reacted that way, so of course we're going to support him." -- Gonzalez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
LeMahieu's three-hit game was his 40th since the start of his NL batting title campaign season in 2016. Only one NL player has that many in that span: Blackmon, his teammate.
The Rockies open a four-game series against the Nationals in Washington at 5:05 p.m. MT, with Chad Bettis making his third start of 2018. He leads Rockies starters with a 2.53 ERA after two outings, though he's yet to exceed 88 pitches. Colorado will face Giovany Gonzalez, its fourth time facing a lefty in five games.
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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @dkramer_.