Rox top Padres, keep footing in Wild Card race

Rox top Padres, keep footing in Wild Card race

DENVER -- In his third start since returning to the Rockies' rotation from the bullpen, Tyler Chatwood tossed 5 2/3 strong innings and helped himself with a two-run single as Colorado defeated the Padres, 6-1, at Coors Field on Friday night.

With the victory, the Rockies' lead for the second National League Wild Card spot got a little stronger. The Cardinals, who lost to the Cubs Friday, fell to 3 1/2 games back. The Brewers, however, kept pace at 2 1/2 games back by riding an eight-run eighth inning to a 10-2 win over the Marlins in Miami.

Chatwood escaped jams in the first and second innings with double plays, starting the twin killing in the first on a comebacker by Wil Myers. With two on and one out in the second, he got Jabari Blash to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Chatwood was chased with two outs in the sixth after Myers homered.

"That's been a trademark the last number of outings for Tyler, even the Giants game, where he got some key double plays," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I remember he struck out [Hunter] Pence with the bases loaded in that start. There's been some at-bats where he's been stressed, but he got the out. And that's the reason why he's put up a lot of zeros."

Chatwood continues hot streak vs. Padres

Myers' solo homer

Padres starter Clayton Richard retired the first five Rockies he faced, but gave up a single and a double before an intentional walk that brought Chatwood to the plate. Chatwood's two-run single was followed by a two-run triple by DJ LeMahieu. Colorado tacked on two more in the eighth, on Nolan Arenado's 34th homer, a Trevor Story triple and an Ian Desmond sacrifice fly.

"It's a frustrating outing because he's literally one cheap ground ball away from six scoreless innings," Padres manager Andy Green said of Richard's performance. "In the second inning there, he was cruising the first two batters, got a really weak ground ball from CarGo [Carlos Gonzalez]. If he doesn't put a glove on it, it's going to be picked up by [third baseman Yangervis] Solarte, be a third out and he's out of that inning. Instead he nicks it with his glove, turns into a base hit, and he misses with an 0-2 pitch to Mark Reynolds, which is probably his biggest mistake of the day. Turns into a double off the wall, and then we can't get the pitcher out. That inning kind of spiraled."

Arenado's solo homer

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Help yourself, Tyler: With two outs and nobody on in the Rockies' second inning, Gonzalez legged out an infield single, followed by a Mark Reynolds double. The Padres intentionally walked Jonathan Lucroy to get to Chatwood, who lined a two-run single to right field. Chatwood's seventh hit in 37 at-bats this season (.189) not only put Colorado up, 2-0, it extended the inning for LeMahieu, who doubled the lead with a two-run triple.

"It got us going," Chatwood said of his single. "Those runs right there were nice, and it was nice to be able to contribute on offense."

Added Green: "He wasn't exactly hitting his spots, but his stuff was alive. As many balls as strikes, nothing finely located, but there's life to the ball, and he made big pitches when he had to."

LeMahieu's two-run triple

Rox 'pen steps up: Following Myers' homer with two outs in the sixth, reliever Mike Dunn got Yangervis Solarte to hit a routine ground ball to third, where Arenado made a rare error, allowing the ball to go between his legs. Cory Spangenberg followed with a walk, but Scott Oberg induced another ground ball to third, this one from Erick Aybar, that was scooped up by Arenado for the forceout to escape the threat.

QUOTABLE
"It's nice. Starting is what I'm used to doing. I've been a starter most of my career, and that's what I feel best doing. And I feel that's the best way I can help us win games." -- Chatwood, on being back in the rotation after a stint in the bullpen

"Get out of the way or make the play. What I did was probably the worst thing I could have done. I really had no doubt I could get to it. I don't know if it was spin on it or what, but it was just out of my reach and I slowed it down just enough that we couldn't make the play. … That's baseball. Being so close. But those are the little things you have to do that separate winning teams from losing teams." -- Richard, on his nicking the grounder from Gonzalez in the second inning

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Padres have lost six in a row to the Rockies this season, including four straight at Coors Field. They've also lost four straight overall while scoring a total of four runs.

"In the last four or five games, we haven't squared up enough baseballs," Green said. "You're not going to win baseball games at Coors Field putting up a solo home run. It doesn't matter what your pitcher does, you won't win many baseball games like that."

WHAT'S NEXT
Padres: Jordan Lyles makes his third start for the Padres since coming over after the Rockies designated him for assignment on July 29. He is 7-6 with a 5.48 ERA in 56 career games (19 starts) at Coors Field. First pitch Saturday is set for 5:10 p.m. PT.

Rockies: Tyler Anderson makes his first start and second appearance for the Rockies since being injured on June 25, as Colorado takes on San Diego at 6:10 p.m. MT. The left-hander tossed four strong innings against the D-backs last Monday in Arizona, striking out four after starter Kyle Freeland was injured in the fourth.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. He covered the Padres on Friday.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

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