The San Diego Padres ended the momentum from yesterday’s Rockies victory with a pitching gem from a familiar face.
Jon Gray’s struggles of allowing a run in the first inning continued as Yangervis Solarte singled home Jon Jay from third starting the scoring early for the Padres. The Rockies did not respond in the top of the second inning, as Gray’s counterpart, Christian Friedrich made quick work of the team striking out David Dahl and Christian Adames while allowing a pop-up in foul territory to retire the side.
A catcher’s interference loomed large in the second inning as the Padres added more runs in the second inning. Jay singled in Luis Sardinas extending the Padres lead to 2-0. Will Myers and Solarte poured salt on the wound of Gray with doubles in the same inning breaking the game wide open on consecutive hits to clear the bases loaded jam with 2-outs. Gray’s pitch count reached 45 pitches that inning forcing the bullpen to swoop into action. The Rockies had no answer the following inning.
Despite a one-out single by Derek Norris and a walk to Friedrich, Gray finally had an unscathed back-to-back innings; however, his pitch count command reached 71 after the third inning. The ex-Rockies farm product, Friedrich outshined Gray the entire night striking out 10 in seven innings quieting the Rockies’ bats.
Gray struggled with command and the number three-ball counts drove his pitches to 87 causing him to not be in line for the win. In a difficult starting pitching day for the Rockies, Eddie Butler impressed in relief of Gray shut down the Padres offense for three innings of no-hit baseball. Butler’s long bullpen appearance kept the Rockies to within striking distance.
DJ LeMahieu ended the scoring drought in the top of the eighth inning with a base hit driving in Christian Adames, who advanced to third on a wild pitch and groundout to Jordan Patterson. LeMahieu extended his on-base streak to 27-games. LeMahieu’s lone hit on the evening keeps his average at .341 on the season as the race for the battle rages on with Nationals second basemen, Daniel Murphy at .345.
Carlos Gonzalez made the game interesting in the same inning knocking in Charlie Blackmon and LeMahieu drawing the score closer at 6-3. Gonzalez’s two-run single brings his RBI total to 90 keeping him in the top-ten in the National RBI race. The Rockies failed to draw closer to the Padres ending the game. The struggles of losing against a team below .500 continue, as the Rockies have a record 6-9 in meetings with the Padres.
Chad Bettis (12-7, 4.88 ERA) is on the bump for the Rockies as he faces Edwin Jackson (4-5, 5.55 ERA) for the Padres. First pitch scheduled for 2:40 MST.