Dickerson leads as Rockies split series with Padres
By Thomas Harding and Owen Perkins
DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson homered for the third time in the past two games and right-hander Jordan Lyles forced 10 outs along the ground in a season-high 6 2/3 innings as the Rockies beat the Padres, 2-1, at Coors Field on Thursday in front of 31,676 to earn a split of the four-game series.
"We got the last two games of the series, and that was huge," said Lyles, who held the Padres to six hits -- all singles -- and one run. "We fought back."
Dickerson, who homered twice in Wednesday night's 5-4 victory, led off the fifth with his fifth homer of the season, off Padres starter Tyson Ross to break a 1-1 tie. Ross gave up six hits and walked four, but struck out seven and gave up just two runs in five innings.
"He was a Padre killer the last two nights, no doubt," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "He scored their first run obviously with a bases-loaded walk, and then the homer. Last night he hurt us. He's swinging well. He's a productive player."
The Rockies used Axford because regular closer Adam Ottavino was dealing with slight lower right triceps tightness -- which he said has occurred before. Plus, Ottavino had pitched two of the previous three games and warmed up briefly during the game in between.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Oh, those missed chances: The Rockies put eight runners on base in the first three innings. However, just one of them scored, when Daniel Descalso drew a bases-loaded walk in the first.
Ross took advantage of holes in the Rockies' lineup to escape further damage. With the bases still loaded in the first, Ross, who had walked three and yielded a single, struck out the struggling Drew Stubbs. It was Stubbs' 10th strikeout in his first 16 at-bats of the season. Ross walked Stubbs to fill the bases in the third, but he fanned Lyles -- batting eighth, with DJ LeMahieu hitting ninth in Rockies manager Walt Weiss' avant-garde lineup.
A foul first: With two out and one on in the first, Nolan Arenado skied a foul beyond first base. First baseman Yonder Alonso and second baseman Cory Spangenberg both gave chase, but the ball eluded them. Arenado followed with an infield single, and Ross walked the next two batters, walking in a run and running his pitch count for the inning up to 37. More >
The Padres' best shot for a big inning: Lyles, who had gone six innings in each of his previous three starts and had walked nine in 18 innings, kept the Padres under wraps for most of his start. But in the fourth, Matt Kemp's single, Yangervis Solarte's walk and Alonso's single gave the Padres their run and had them in position for more. However, Will Venable lined hard to right. More >
Oberg's return: Oberg found himself on the shuttle to Triple-A Albuquerque after giving up three homers Sunday against the Dodgers. But he made a successful return Thursday, when he entered with two on and two out in the seventh and fanned Upton swinging.
Betancourt also obtained a much-needed out in the eighth -- a third-out pop-up from Kemp with a runner at second to end a seven-pitch at-bat.
"We've shown some resilience early on here. After the tougher losses we've had this year, we've bounced back and played well." -- Weiss, on the team's two straight close victories over the Padres, which came on the heels of a five-game losing streak
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Odrisamer Despaigne entered the game to pitch for the Padres with two out in the eighth. He won Monday's series opener, allowing two runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He is the fifth Padres pitcher since the 1990 season to make both a start and a relief appearance in the same series. The previous four include Chad Gaudin in June of 2009 against the D-backs, Brian Lawrence in June of 2001 against the Dodgers, Tim Worrell in June of 1996 against the Cubs, and Calvin Schiraldi in July of 1990 against the Reds. All four series were four-game series.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres:Andrew Cashner takes the hill for the Padres as they return home to face the Dodgers for the second time this season. He had a rough outing in L.A. his first time out in April, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks while striking out six in five innings. Adrian Gonzalez tagged him for three home runs in the 7-4 loss. He was much sharper his last time out, earning a win in Chicago while allowing two unearned runs over six innings.
Rockies: On April 13, rookie right-hander Eddie Butler endured a lengthy pregame ceremony -- complete with Madison Bumgarner riding the horse and a live, on-field rendition of "We Are the Champions," to celebrate the Giants' 2014 World Series title. Then Butler (1-1, 2.25 ERA) held the champs scoreless for 5 1/3 innings for the decision in the Rockies' 2-0 triumph. Friday night at 6:40 p.m. MT is the rematch with the Giants and right-hander Chris Heston (2-1, 0.87). The game opens a three-game set.