Rockies rout Padres 16-0, gain ground in Wild Card race
DENVER (AP) — Charlie Blackmon saw the Colorado Rockies’ latest win as an encouraging sign in their drive toward the postseason, and nothing more.
Tyler Anderson pitched six innings in his first start since returning from left knee surgery, Blackmon set an NL season record for RBIs by a leadoff man, and the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 16-0 on Saturday night in a game marred by a near brawl.
Blackmon homered and doubled to drive in four runs, pushing his season RBI total from the leadoff position to 92 and surpassing Craig Biggio, who had 88 in 1998.
Pat Valaika had a pinch-hit grand slam during a six-run seventh and Carlos Gonzalez also homered for the Rockies, who stretched their lead for the second NL Wild Card berth to 3 1/2 games over Milwaukee, which lost to Miami 7-4 earlier Saturday. Colorado has won eight of its last 10 games and extended its winning streak against San Diego to seven.
“We did a little bit of everything well but I wouldn’t read too much into it,” Blackmon said. “A 1-0 win would have been just as good, so that means we’ve got to come out tomorrow and not take anything for granted and play hard and not just assume we’re going to win (the next game) just because we won by a bunch of runs tonight.”
Blackmon was not the only one breaking new ground in the record books. Nolan Arenado registered his 125th RBI of the season, marking the third consecutive season in which he has had at least 125 RBIs. He’s the first Rockies player and the first third baseman in Major League history to achieve the feat.
“Charlie has been doing it all year and I’m very happy for him that he has surpassed a Hall of Fame player, and Nolan, that’s quite an accomplishment, three years in a row 125 (RBIs). That’s real good stuff,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “But I know in their mind individual accomplishments are great, but I’m sure if you ask them they’ll deflect those things to what the team has going on now.”
The Rockies had it going against the Padres, who lost their fifth straight overall, matching a season high. San Diego has been outscored 44-4 during the five-game skid, which included another 16-0 loss Tuesday at Minnesota.
“We haven’t put together at-bats against anybody. That has been the consistent theme,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “You can tip your hat to the other guy, but you have to look at yourself in the mirror and have to get better.”
The Padres also lost first baseman Wil Myers to a right leg bruise. He left the game after striking out in the sixth. He fouled a pitch off his knee for the second strike and was clearly in pain, limping and struggling to put weight on the leg. He stood back in after several minutes and took a called third strike.
“It’s pretty sore right now,” Myers said. “I will do everything I can to play (Sunday). We’ll see how it goes.”
Immediately after giving up Blackmon’s three-run drive in the sixth for a 10-0 Colorado lead, reliever Miguel Diaz plunked DJ LeMahieu in the back, triggering an angry exchange as LeMahieu was restrained from heading to the mound. Players from both dugouts and bullpens streamed onto the field but no punches were thrown, and calm prevailed after Diaz was ejected.
“They are trying to navigate a dicey situation,” Green said. “I understand their frustration. You give up a big home run and you hit a player two pitches later. It is universally understood that it’s a time guys throw at people. (But) we weren’t throwing at anybody at that point in time.”
Anderson, who underwent arthroscopic surgery July 3 and had been sidelined since early June, was reinstated from the disabled list last week and pitched four innings of scoreless relief Monday at Arizona.
Against San Diego, he did not give up a hit until Manuel Margot beat out an infield single with two outs in the sixth. Carlos Asuaje followed with a clean single to right before Anderson (5-5) fanned Myers. He walked two and struck out three and gave up two hits. Kyle Freeland and Jeff Hoffman teamed up to pitch the last three innings, allowing one hit.
Leading 5-0, the Rockies extended their lead in the fifth when Gonzalez drove a 1-0 pitch from Jordan Lyles (1-3) into the second deck in right field. LeMahieu walked ahead of the homer by Gonzalez, his 13th of the season.
The Rockies batted around in a five-run third against Lyles, a former Rockie who was picked up by the Padres after being designated for assignment by Colorado in late July.
Blackmon’s double drove in the first run of the inning, LeMahieu and Arenado added RBI hits and Trevor Story capped the outburst with a two-out, two-run single.
The Rockies’ registered their biggest shutout win in franchise history. The previous high was a 13-0 win over Florida on Sept. 16, 2007. It also marked their third shutout of the season in which they had scored 10 or more runs, also a season high in the team’s history.
Padres: OF Jose Pirela remains day to day because of a jammed pinkie. He has missed the past four starts with his lone appearance in that span coming Wednesday against Minnesota as a pinch runner in which he was thrown out trying to steal.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis, who didn’t get out of the first inning in his last start, is having his next turn skipped in the rotation. Bettis, who returned this season after successfully battling testicular cancer, has struggled in recent outings, going 1-3 with a 9.15 ERA over his previous five starts.
Padres: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (12-10, 4.05 ERA), also a former Rockie, is slated to start the series finale at Coors Field, where he has gone 23-23 in 68 career starts.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (8-4, 3.95 ERA) has won four of his six starts at home this season, posting a 3.34 ERA at Coors Field.