Padres' first run opens floodgates as bats unload

'As soon as the first run scored, I think everybody relaxed,' Green says

Padres' first run opens floodgates as bats unload

DENVER -- Jon Jay hit a rocket to right-center field, Melvin Upton Jr. scampered home, and the 500-pound gorilla jumped off the Padres' collective backs.

During their season-opening scoreless drought -- which ran to an MLB-record 30 innings before Jay's single in the fourth inning of Friday's 13-6 win over the Rockies -- the Padres had maintained that it would only take one run to open the floodgates.

They weren't lying.

Upton scored -- and so did each of the next five hitters in the lineup behind him. Three more Padres touched the dish in the fifth, before Upton launched a two-run home run to the moon in the top of the sixth. For good measure, San Diego tacked on two more in the ninth.

"Jon Jay broke the ice," said Padres right fielder Matt Kemp, who went 4-for-6 with a homer and four RBIs. "Getting that first run -- we just went from there. ... We have a great offense. We just have to have good at-bats and go out there and do our job."

Kemp's three-run shot

When Upton crossed the dish with the first run of the year, Padres manager Andy Green said he noticed something palpable in the dugout that wasn't there before: laughter.

"As soon as the first run scored, I think everybody relaxed," Green said.

"You knew eventually it was going to happen," said bench coach Mark McGwire. "It just seemed like once the door opened a little, the floodgates opened, and everybody hit. A lot of guys had good at-bats today."

According to Upton, however, the club was never all that tense in the first place. Thursday's flight to Denver, Upton said, was just like any other flight after any other series.

As for the lack of runs, the Padres knew that streak wouldn't last.

"It's been kind of a running joke in the clubhouse: We've got to score eventually," Upton said. "We were just trying to keep it loose. We kept it loose yesterday on the plane, we kept it loose today before the game. We stopped trying to force the issue today, and we just let it happen."

Upton Jr.'s two-run blast

Of all the Padres, Kemp was the most vocal after Wednesday's shutout loss to the Dodgers. He challenged the notion that the Padres were even "in a slump," saying it was far too small a sample size to make that proclamation.

Predictably, fans and members of the media reacted harshly to the first three games of the season. Overreations are a staple of the first week of any season -- but specifically this year, given the Padres' record-setting struggles.

"The only people that are worried are people that aren't in this clubhouse," Kemp said. "... We weren't worried about if we were going to score any runs or get any hits. We're going to hit. And we're going to score runs."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.