SAN DIEGO -- Ryan Hanigan endeared himself to Rockies fans rather quickly on Thursday afternoon. In his first game with the club, the veteran backstop homered in the seventh and hit the go-ahead single in the 11th, sending Colorado to a 3-2 victory over the Padres at Petco Park and a winning road trip.
"All these guys were grinding, we pitched great … that's how this team works from what I've seen so far," Hanigan said. "I had fun today, swung the bat pretty well, contributed and we got the win."
The Rockies won two of three -- their first series win at Petco Park since July 8-10, 2013 -- and completed a National League West road trip 4-2 to hang onto first place in the early going. Rockies rookie starter Kyle Freeland held the Padres to one run in 6 1/3 innings, and six relievers -- including Chad Qualls (1-0) and Greg Holland (12th save) -- held the Padres to one run and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"To a man, both sides did well," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We had a couple good swings at the end to push one [run] across."
San Diego rallied to tie the game with a run apiece in the seventh and eighth innings. After Rockies relievers allowed three walks in the eighth, Yangervis Solarte hit a broken-bat one-hopper to shortstop. He hustled and beat the relay throw, allowing Luis Sardinas to score.
The late runs spoiled another nice effort from Rockies rookie Freeland, who tossed 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo matched him, for all intents and purposes. Perdomo wasn't his sharpest, but he allowed one run on five hits in six innings, before exiting for a pinch-hitter.
"Perdomo threw the ball extremely well, we did a good job of coming back late in the game, working our walks, working good at-bats," said Padres first baseman Wil Myers. "They've got a good bullpen, got a great team. That's why they're in first place. It was one of those things where they were just a little bit better today, but I like the fight that we had."
The game was temporarily halted following a scary situation in the bottom of the ninth, when Hector Sanchez's bat went flying into the stands. It two struck two people -- including one woman in the head -- and led to a 13-minute delay as she was attended to by medical personnel. After the game, the Padres released a statement saying the injuries did not appear to be serious.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Patient ninja:Alexi Amarista -- who spent five seasons in San Diego before signing with the Rockies during the offseason -- found himself in an 0-2 hole against Padres reliever Brad Hand in the 11th. With a grind of an at-bat, he managed to work a nine-pitch walk, setting the stage for Hanigan, who promptly bounced one up the middle. Padres shortstop Erick Aybar fielded the ball, but couldn't complete a tricky flip to second base, which would have kept the game tied.
"[Hand] has good pitches and I wanted to have a good at-bat -- it was a very important win for us, a great way to finish this road trip," Amarista said in Spanish, with Carlos Gonzalez interpreting.
Warning-track power: The Padres put runners on first and second in the 10th, bringing Cory Spangenberg to the plate with two outs. He smashed a deep fly to straightaway center off Rockies reliever Qualls. But Charlie Blackmon ran it down on the warning track, sending the game to the 11th. Over the four-inning stretch from the seventh to the 10th, the Padres stranded nine runners.
"You look at the guys that they brought in -- Greg Holland was National League reliever of the month, Adam Ottavino has been dominant pretty much all season for those guys -- we're not the only team that has struggled to push runs across the plate against the back end of their bullpen," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Jake McGee is a very good arm too. We always want the big hit. We didn't get it today." More >
Shaky seventh: Freeland retired 21 of the first 23 batters he faced, but he ran into trouble in the seventh. Hunter Renfroe's double plated the Padres' first run, before Ryan Schimpf drew a walk. That prompted Black to call for his bullpen, which got a pair of critical outs against Padres pinch-hitters. Scott Oberg struck out Spangenberg, before Mike Dunn got Sanchez to bounce to second base, ending the threat.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Perdomo jumped Freeland on the ground-ball rate leaderboards on Thursday. Perdomo recorded eight groundouts without a flyout, while Freeland got nine groundouts and three flyouts. Among pitchers with at least 20 innings, Perdomo's 69 percent ground-ball rate ranks first, while Freeland's 64 percent mark is tied for second.
With the homer, Hanigan matched his total for last season with the Red Sox (in 105 at-bats) and became the 13th player in Rockies history to homer in his debut.
Gonzalez left the game before the bottom of the ninth with cramping in his right calf. Black said the move was precautionary. More >
The Padres' bid for a big third inning went down the tubes when replay overturned a safe call for Manuel Margot at first base. The video showed that Freeland reached the bag and received Mark Reynolds' throw in time for the inning-ending out. Had the Rockies not challenged, the Padres would have had runners at first and third with two out.
The Rockies were not able, however, to gain an eighth-inning out on a replay challenge. With runners at first and second and no outs, Hanigan's pickoff throw to second nearly nailed Sardinas, but after the video the "safe" call stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Righty German Marquez, who threw six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts on Sunday in a no-decision against the D-backs at Chase Field, will face Arizona again Friday at Coors Field at 6:40 p.m. MT. The Rockies pushed lefty Tyler Anderson, whose turn was originally Friday, back to Saturday night.
Padres: The Padres welcome the Dodgers to Petco Park for a three-game series beginning Friday, with first pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. PT. Jhoulys Chacin starts the opener, looking to continue his run of success at home, where he hasn't allowed a run this year. He did, however, surrender a career-high nine runs against the Dodgers in Los Angeles last month.