Trio of solo shots lifts Rockies over Padres

Trio of solo shots lifts Rockies over Padres

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado showed Tuesday night that he can push the ball as well as he can pull it.

Arenado broke a seventh-inning tie with a rare opposite-field home run to right -- just his third of the Statcast™ era (since 2015) -- as the Rockies gave rookie starter Antonio Senzatela his first Major League win in a 3-2 victory over the Padres at Coors Field.

"It hasn't happened a lot at all," Arenado said. "[Injured outfielder] David Dahl, I was actually thinking about him when I hit it. He always dogs me because I never go oppo. I wish he was here to see it."

Arenado's homer, his third this season, came off Padres reliever Miguel Diaz, a Rule 5 Draft pick who had not yielded a baserunner in his four previous Major League appearances.

"Nolan Arenado has gotten a lot of veteran relievers, too, in his time," Padres manager Andy Green said of the matchup. "Stuff-wise, looking down at that bullpen, leadoff batter, it was probably our best matchup with Nolan. Was a pretty good pitch, fastball down and away. He got out there and hit it out. You can always look back in hindsight and say you didn't like the matchup, but I think we did like that matchup going into that -- as much as you can like a matchup against Nolan Arenado."

It was Arenado's second game-winning homer this season. He went deep in the ninth inning at Milwaukee on Thursday for a 2-1 victory.

"This is the type of player that he is -- he does these types of things," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We need the rest of our group to get on board, too, which they will."

Senzatela earns first MLB win

Senzatela made his Coors Field debut, allowing two runs on five hits -- including Manuel Margot's leadoff homer -- over seven innings, while striking out five and earning his first big league win in his second start.

Padres veteran Jered Weaver made his 324th career start, but his first at Coors Field. He pitched solidly, allowing two runs -- homers by Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon -- on three hits with five strikeouts in six innings.

CarGo's solo big fly

"I didn't see the effect that everybody has been talking about," Weaver said regarding Coors Field. "It wasn't as drastic as I thought it was going to be. Everything was moving and working like it usually does, and I felt good."

Welcome home: Margot made a statement in the first at-bat against Senzatela, as Margot blasted his second leadoff homer of the season into the left-field seats. Senzatela didn't give up a run in his six-inning big league debut in Milwaukee on Thursday, but how he handled hitter-friendly Coors Field would be key. Senzatela responded by retiring the next 10 and 16 of the next 17 Padres he faced.

"I gave up a home run and said, 'OK, that's a home run. … Let's throw seven innings against them,'" Senzatela said.

"I think in that first at-bat, it was just a mistake by him," Margot said through an interpreter. "He was up in the count, and he left that pitch up, but I think from there on out he was just really able to establish and attack that outer third of the plate, and do that well."

Margot's leadoff homer

The pitch that counted: The last of Senzatela's 94 pitches was his biggest. He opened the seventh with his only walk, to Ryan Schimpf, and gave up a two-out single to Erick Aybar. Rockies manager Bud Black visited the mound before Senzatela faced Padres pinch-hitter Luis Sardinas. Senzatela then fired two fastballs, the second being a 94.8-mph fastball that resulted in a soft grounder to second.

Senzatela gets through seven

• Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino struck out the side in the eighth and Greg Holland added a spotless ninth for his fifth save. When pitching with a lead, the Rockies have a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings during their 6-3 start.

Holland slams the door

• It was the first time in Rockies history they won a game with exactly three solo home runs and no other run production. However, it wasn't history, as they won a game on a Major League-record five solo shots at Miami on June 20, 2016.

Blackmon's 458-foot home run to center in the sixth was his longest of the Statcast™ era. He hit it hard, but he had to take a different approach against Weaver's low-velocity style.

"I tried to take away some aggressiveness," Blackmon said. "I didn't want to go up there and try to hit the ball 400 feet just because he wasn't throwing hard. I was more concerned about staying relaxed and swinging at good pitches."

Statcast: Blackmon's 458-ft. HR

Rockies catcher Tony Wolters knocked the cover off the baseball, literally, in the seventh. But it wasn't like the scene in "The Natural." Wolters hit one off the end of the bat, which Diaz fielded. The ball was coming apart on the way to first base, however, and it bounced for an error.

Wolters hits cover off the ball

Padres: Zach Lee takes the mound for Wednesday's 12:10 p.m. PT series finale against the Rockies. Lee is starting after Luis Perdomo, who was originally scheduled to pitch, went on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. It will be Lee's second big league appearance, having made one start in 2015 for the Dodgers.

Rockies: Left-handed starter Kyle Freeland, a Denver native, threw six solid innings against the Dodgers to win the home opener Friday. The atmosphere may not be as electric, but he'll look for the same execution Wednesday against the Padres at Coors Field at 1:10 p.m. MT.

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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.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to based in Denver.

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