Bettis escapes jams, but is stung by homers

Rockies starter gives up four runs on 10 hits in loss

Bettis escapes jams, but is stung by homers

SAN DIEGO -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis left Petco Park shaking his head over two pitches. While it would be nice to lament a couple throws, but go to the hotel happy, Bettis had to take what he could get after absorbing a 4-3 loss to the Padres.

It was Bettis' third straight losing start, and it raised his ERA to 5.58 -- up from 3.77 at the end of April. But unlike May 25, when he yielded seven runs in 4 2/3 innings at Boston, or Monday, when the Reds bested him for six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings at home, Bettis was at least competitive as he labored for five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits and striking out three.

But Bettis (4-5) gave up Wil Myers' solo shot in the first inning and Derek Norris' two-run hmer in the second -- after the Rockies had taken a lead on Charlie Blackmon's two-run double.

"That's what got me hurt," Bettis said. "We had some guys make some great plays behind me tonight. It's unfortunate that those two balls get out of the yard, and that's what ends up hurting us."

Bettis gave up three hits in the third, but escaped because of two good defensive plays. On Matt Kemp's RBI single, third baseman Nolan Arenado cut off Gerardo Parra's throw from left field and threw to shortstop Trevor Story covering third, and forced Yangervis Solarte into a double play.

In the fourth, he walked opposing pitcher Andrew Cashner with two out to load the bases, but saved the inning by forcing a groundout from Jon Jay. Bettis kept the Padres from scoring after Myers' leadoff double in the fifth.

"[Bettis] had some pitches elevated," manager Walt Weiss said. "He had to work hard to get through five. He battled like he always does. It didn't come easy for him tonight, but he fought through it and didn't let it get away from him."

Bettis, a fast worker who can sometimes lose his mechanics if he rushes his pitches with men on base, was more controlled, and it allowed him to escape some tough innings.

"That's a little bit what I worked on the last five days, and it was nice to see that, but I've got to keep the ball in the yard -- especially here," Bettis said, referring to usually pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.