DENVER -- Matt Kemp delivered the first cycle in franchise history, and Jedd Gyorko clubbed a three-run homer in San Diego's crucial four-run seventh, propelling the Padres to a 9-5 win over the Rockies in Friday's series opener at Coors Field.
"I've come close plenty of times, I've just never gotten that one hit I definitely needed. That triple is the hardest one to get. Before I went up to bat, I heard [Melvin Upton Jr.] say, 'Hit a triple.' And I did," Kemp said.
Brandon Barnes tied the game, 4-4, in the sixth with an RBI triple that fell between Melvin Upton Jr. and Kemp, but San Diego immediately stormed right back. After homering in the first and singling in the third, Kemp launched a go-ahead double off Rafael Betancourt. Betancourt, who entered in the seventh for Ken Roberts (0-1), intentionally walked Justin Upton before serving up a three-run homer to Gyorko. The emphatic seventh made a winner out of newly acquired Bud Norris (1-0), who tossed a scoreless sixth. Kemp then secured the cycle with a ninth-inning triple off Justin Miller.
"I don't think it's tired arms, just the execution," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of his bullpen, which surrendered five of the nine runs and has an MLB-worst 4.68 ERA.
San Diego jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, but Nolan Arenado answered with a two-run homer in the bottom half off Tyson Ross, who gave up four runs (two earned) over five innings. Barnes eventually tied the game, 3-3, with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly before Derek Norris took back the lead with a solo homer in the fifth.
"That Norris home run, you could tell, it kind of kept drifting and drifting," Barnes said. "I thought I had a good chance at it until I got toward the wall. You could see the ball jumping a little bit tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED How to hit for the cycle: Kemp got the Padres started fast Friday, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning. He added a single in the third inning and then an RBI double in the seventh inning. Finally, he got his milestone hit in the ninth inning. He had four hits and is now hitting .331 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in his career at Coors Field.
Missed opportunities: The Rockies' 2-for-13 night with runners in scoring position was littered with failed chances. Ross walked Arenado and Ben Paulsen with two outs in the third, which loaded the bases after Jose Reyes had previously singled. That brought up DJ LeMahieu, who entered Friday hitting .323 with runners in scoring position and .429 with the bases loaded this season. But all LeMahieu could muster was a harmless flyout to right field. Then after Barnes' one-out triple in the sixth, the Rockies couldn't push across the go-ahead run. Pinch-hitter Matt McBride popped out to third, and Charlie Blackmon lined out to first on a leaping grab from Norris.
#GyorkStoreCalled: Gyorko made Betancourt pay for issuing Upton an intentional walk to get to him in the seventh inning. Gyorko hit a three-run home run over the wall in center field to put the game out of reach, 8-4.
Flande fights after first: Rockies starter Yohan Flande suffered through a tough opening frame, but delivered mostly quality innings after that. The left-hander gave up as many hits over his final five frames as his he did in the first, and the Padres mustered just two men into scoring position after the opening frame. In total, Flande yielded eight hits and four runs over six innings -- the first time he's lasted at least six frames since Aug. 12, 2014.
"Flande did a good job," Weiss said. "He gave up some runs early and really pitched well after that. He always throws strikes. He always works fast and has the ability to put the ball on the ground. He did all those things tonight."
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Norris has done most of his work behind the plate this season. In fact, Friday was just his sixth start at first base in 2015. Funny thing, though: Norris has now hit home runs in four of the six games he's started at first base. His home run in the fifth inning gave the Padres a 4-3 lead.
"That was special. He showed tonight why he's the player he is. It's great to be a part of it. I knew about it a few years ago, no one has ever thrown a no-hitter, no one has ever hit for the cycle. It's a matter a time before these records are broken. I think it's fitting it's Matt Kemp, he's part of a new beginning," -- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy, on Kemp
WHAT'S NEXT Padres:Andrew Cashner (4-12, 4.09) gets the start on Saturday in the second game of the three-game series at 5:10 p.m. PT. He's posted a quality start in three of his last four starts. This will be his first start against the Rockies this season.
Rockies: Heralded prospect Jon Gray will make his second Coors Field start on Saturday. After a pedestrian showing in his MLB debut, Gray rebounded in his last start by tossing six strong innings against the Mets. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. MT.