Padres awaken with 5-run 6th to back Cahill

Padres awaken with 5-run 6th to back Cahill

SAN DIEGO -- One moment, Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood was cruising, having no-hit the Padres over five crisp innings. The next moment, Chatwood was sauntering toward the visitors dugout, Petco Park stirred into a frenzy.

On the strength of their five-run sixth-inning rally, the Padres spoiled Bud Black's return to Petco Park with a 6-2 victory in Tuesday's series opener. Yangervis Solarte and Ryan Schimpf launched back-to-back homers off Chatwood in the decisive frame, prompting Black -- the Rockies skipper who spent nine seasons at the helm of the Padres -- to emerge from the visitors dugout and call upon his bullpen.

Padres right-hander Trevor Cahill outlasted Chatwood with six-plus impressive frames. He allowed only an unearned run on three hits while striking out seven. In five starts this season, Cahill has fanned 37 over 30 innings -- a stark uptick from his career mark of 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

"His curveball has always been good," said Padres manager Andy Green. "It's in the 'outstanding' category now. It was sharp. You see very good hitters taking very bad swings at it."

Cahill's fantastic outing

Said Cahill: "This year, the curveball has been there, and if it's not there, I have the changeup and a good slider also to go along with the sinker."

Chatwood suffered his first loss in six career starts at Petco -- and had a 1.32 ERA at the Padres' home from 2013-16. He walked leadoff men his last three innings, and the one that started the big inning was a walk to Cahill.

"All year I've been walking guys and giving up homers, and those are two things I can't do right now," said Chatwood, whose nine homers surrendered tie him with Tyler Anderson for the team lead. More >

Padres go back-to-back in 6th

Friars club: Padres power up HR charts

Third time's the charm: Chatwood issued leadoff walks in the fourth and fifth innings, but the Padres couldn't capitalize in either frame. He kept playing with fire in the sixth, however, and the Padres finally made him pay. Of all people, it was Cahill who ignited the rally, laying off four consecutive fastballs outside the strike zone. He scored one batter later on Manuel Margot's triple to straightaway center.

Margot nearly caught Cahill on the basepaths. If Cahill hadn't frozen to see whether the ball would be caught, it's likely Margot would have tried for an inside-the-park home run.

Margot's RBI triple in the 6th

"It looked like an offensive lineman recovered a fumble and was trying to run it to the end zone -- no disrespect to offensive linemen anywhere," Green joked. "Trevor was definitely slowing down Manny."

Escape artist: With a five-run lead to protect, Miguel Diaz loaded the bases in the top of the eighth, prompting Green to call upon Ryan Buchter. Nolan Arenado chopped an infield single back to Buchter (who nearly made an outstanding play on a flip to home plate), bringing Carlos Gonzalez to the plate as the tying run. But Buchter blew Gonzalez away with three consecutive fastballs. The Rockies' cleanup man finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and has seen his average dip to .207.

Buchter K's Gonzalez in big spot

The Rockies struck out 15 times Tuesday and 57 times over the past four games.

"With our guys, if you have big swings, they can result in home runs," Black said. "But the last couple games, it's been a little bit too many empty swings. We'll continue to address that each and every day."

Desmond, Chatwood on loss

Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon endured a rough sixth inning in center field. On Margot's triple, he froze before breaking inward a split-second too late. He was forced into a dive, and the ball skittered past him and to the wall. Two batters later, Blackmon misplayed a Wil Myers line drive into a double, when he broke toward home plate instead of back.

The Statcast™ data backs the notion that both fly balls were, indeed, catchable. Blackmon needed to travel 30 feet in 2.8 seconds -- a catch probability of 38 percent -- to get Margot's liner. Meanwhile, Myers double hung in the air for 3.7 seconds and landed 53 feet from Blackmon's starting position -- a 55 percent catch probability.

Myers rips an RBI double

Ian Desmond played left field in his Rockies debut Sunday, after sitting out the first 25 games with a fractured left hand. But he was signed to play first base, where he made his first start Tuesday. Desmond had a two-way impact early. After a second-inning leadoff single, he stole second and advanced all the way home when catcher Austin Hedges' throw bounced wildly into center field. Desmond, in his first career game at first base, also leaped to snare Hedges' liner to open the third. Desmond shifted to left field in the bottom of the seventh. Mark Reynolds -- the regular at first in Desmond's absence -- pinch-hit for starting left fielder Gerardo Parra in the top of the inning.

Desmond's quality snag

On his steal, Desmond said, "I'm not going to say I'm a burner by any means but I try to pick my spots and put myself in position to help my teammates drive in runs."

Rockies catcher Tony Wolters left in the bottom of the seventh after the barrel of Hector Sanchez's bat hit him in the side of the helmet and mask on the backswing. The next pitch, from Carlos Estevez, eluded Wolters. After the play, Wolters conversed with head athletic trainer Keith Dugger then left the game. Black said after the game that Wolters suffered a concussion. Wolters is batting .346 in 17 games. More >

Wolters leaves due to injury

Rockies: Righty Antonio Senzatela (3-1, 2.81 ERA) is coming off his first career loss, at home to the Nationals. But the last time he faced the Padres -- April 11 -- he surrendered a leadoff homer to Margot, then held the Padres scoreless for the rest of a seven-inning performance in a 3-2 Rockies victory. Senzatela will start the middle game of the series with the Padres on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. MT.

Padres: Jered Weaver takes the mound Wednesday night, with first pitch slated for 7:10 PT. Weaver is looking to limit the long ball. He's allowed 10 this year, the most in the Majors, and 14 of his 15 earned runs allowed have scored via the home run.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

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.