Early offense lifts Friedrich, Padres

Early offense lifts Friedrich, Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Christian Friedrich continued to stymie his former team Saturday night, leading the Padres to a 6-3 victory over the Rockies while striking out a career-high tying 10 batters. Friedrich shrugged off a 109-mph DJ LeMahieu line drive that drilling him in the left leg during the third inning to work seven shutout innings .

"He was great. [I] told him I was going to pop him in the quad in the second inning every start to see if it gets him going," said Padres manager Andy Green with a laugh. "He really settled in. The first inning he labored, fought, managed to keep them off the board. I think he threw about 25 pitches that first inning and then pretty much sailed through the next six. He was outstanding." More >>

The Padres backed him up scoring six runs in the first two innings, with recently returned outfielder Jon Jay responsible for a single and a run scored in each of those frames.

Friedrich's 10th strikeout

Jon Gray's success vs. the Padres came to a halt Saturday, as the 24-year-old righty allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks, lasting just four innings. Prior to the game, Gray had posted a 2.25 ERA vs. San Diego over 20 innings. He and Rockies manager Walt Weiss agreed after the game that Gray's slider was well below where it needed to be.

"That's my pitch. I don't really have another to rely on," Gray said. "When that's not there, it's tough. I don't really care too much for myself or my feelings right now, but my teammates, it really upsets me, going out there with that performance."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Myers on the mend: Wil Myers entered this game hitting just .143 with 24 strikeouts over his last 18 games, but showed a glimpse of the All-Star caliber player he was during the entire first half of the season. The 25-year-old first baseman went 2-for-3 with a walk and ground-rule RBI double that helped the Padres notch a five-run second inning.

"It was good to see Wil square pretty much every baseball up today he swung at," Green said. "Hit all three balls hard, had two hits and a walk. He looked good today.... Obviously he's a huge part of what we do so it was good to see him going."

Myers' two-run double

Still streaking: Still in the NL batting race with Daniel Murphy, LeMahieu reached base for the 27th straight game with a single in the third inning to extend a career-best on-base streak. It's the second-longest active streak in the Majors behind Freddie Freeman's 32 games.

"It's cool, but I don't really think about it," LeMahieu said of the streak.

LeMahieu's RBI single

Costly catcher's interference: For the second time this series, the Padres took advantage of a Colorado defensive miscue, after Travis Jankowski reached base with two outs on a catcher's interference by Tom Murphy. With the bases loaded, San Diego singled and then hit back-to-back doubles to put five runs on the board in the second inning.

"When you get the runs early it gives you a little bit of ease, knowing that these guys are big boppers and you don't worry about the [homers]," Friedrich said. "So you can throw ahead in the count and solo home runs don't hurt you when you got that nice little lead."

Whatever role works:It's been a trying year for Rockies pitcher Eddie Butler, moving between Triple-A Albuquerque and Colorado and between starting and the bullpen. He at least put up an encouraging performance for three innings in relief of Gray, not allowing a baserunner and striking out two.

"Eddie came in and threw up three zeroes. Good sink, threw strikes," Weiss said. "Sinker was hard and heavy. Threw some good curveballs and changeups. Good showing by Eddie."

QUOTABLE
"Obviously the last month and half has been very tough for me. Something that I've never dealt with before in my career, but I know this is something that I'm going to look back on in a couple years and know that this has really helped me in my career. It's obviously tough going through now, but it's going to help trying to figure out things to work through it." -- Myers on the struggles he's gone through at the plate lately

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Carlos Gonzalez' RBI-single in the eighth inning was the first hit that a lefty batter has managed against San Diego reliever Brad Hand since Daniel Murphy's home run against him back on July 22.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Chad Bettis will make his first start since throwing a shutout at Coors Field against the Giants on Monday. The difference in the right-hander's first and second half ERA is greater than two runs, an improvement he'll get another chance to show at 12:40 p.m. MT.

Padres: Edwin Jackson takes the ball for the Padres in the finale vs. the Rockies, hoping to replicate the success he found in his last start, when he fanned 11 batters -- the most of any San Diego pitcher this season -- over seven shutout innings against the Red Sox. First pitch is at 1:40 p.m. PT.

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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.