Injury ends rookie's night early in Rox loss

Injury ends rookie's night early in Rox loss

Injury ends rookie's night early in Rox loss
SAN DIEGO -- The pitching Pomeranzes at least would be able to cheer one another up on Monday night.

Before facing the Padres at Petco Park, Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz watched as his older brother, Stu, threw three scoreless innings for the Orioles in their loss to the Rangers. No doubt back east, Stu was aware that his younger brother belted his first Major League home run for the Rockies.

However, the junior Pomeranz was hit in the right quadriceps by a second-inning line drive and lasted just three innings in Colorado's 3-2 loss to the Padres in front of 15,895.

He gave up one run in each of his innings of work. After being smoked by opposing starter Edinson Volquez's liner with one out in the second inning, Pomeranz (0-2) unleashed a wild pitch on his next throw, which allowed a run to score. With his leg stiffening in the third, Pomeranz walked two and gave up two hits, including Yonder Alonzo's second RBI single of the game.

So the brothers -- Stu, 27, and Drew, 23 -- can at least have a good time talking about their day.

"I talked to [my brother] yesterday after he got called up," Drew Pomeranz said. "I'm sure I'll talk to him pretty soon, once he figures out I hit a home run."

The highlight of the evening was the homer, even though it was after he took the hard hit off his leg.

"My jog around the bases was pretty slow," Pomeranz said. "I don't know if it was because of my leg or what. For that trot around the bases, I really didn't feel my leg too much then."

Pomeranz said at least he should heal in time for his next start.

"I got a little lucky," he said. "It could have been a little lower and hit me in the knee. We'll see."

Problem was, the Rockies needed a lengthy, effective start from their pitcher every bit as much as they needed home-run power. But Pomeranz gave up five hits and walked three while striking out two -- and the wild pitch hurt. If he hadn't been smoked by the line drive -- which, luckily for him, hit muscle instead of bone -- Pomeranz would have had to find his command to last much longer. It took him 58 pitches to bob and weave through three innings.

The Rockies were expecting another significant performance from Pomeranz.

In his last start, he matched last year's National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw sequence for sequence and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings of an eventual 8-5 victory over the Dodgers. But because of poor command and then the injury, Pomeranz's start marked the 17th time in 28 games this season that Colorado's starter didn't go as many as six innings. The Rockies are 4-13 when the starter doesn't go six.

"He wasn't real sharp tonight," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He had deep counts. He had to get back into the count and gave up a couple of hits that way. He made some bad two-strike pitches. The wild pitch on the breaking ball that plated a run, as you look at it now, was a pretty huge run."

"It was a tough day command-wise," Pomeranz said, "but I made a few pitches and minimized what could've happened."

It was clear Pomeranz was done when he worked Jason Bartlett into a bouncer to the mound to end the third. He jogged a few steps toward the dugout, but found himself having to walk the rest of the way. The swelling and stiffness increased while the Rockies were batting.

The Rockies' bullpen threw five scoreless innings, including three by Josh Roenicke, who struck out two against two hits and two walks. Matt Belisle and Rex Brothers combined for 1 2/3 spotless innings. Somehow, the Rockies are in decent shape bullpen-wise, even though no starter has gone past five innings in the last six games.

The three innings tied a career high for Roenicke.

"I didn't throw many pitches in the first inning, and [Tracy] asked me how I felt after the second inning," Roenicke said. "I was fine, so I went from there, trying to keep it close."

But the offense did little against Volquez (1-2), who threw just 59 strikes on 110 pitches over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits and walked four, but also struck out five. Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who had two of the hits, said Rockies hitters had all kinds of issues gaining timing.

"All day, he was all over the place," Gonzalez said. "His pitch count was up. We were trying to be patient against him, but it seems like the umpire helped him a little bit with balls out of the strike zone. But he's got good stuff. Even when he's throwing balls, he's got a great fastball and good curveball."

Marco Scutaro, who also had two hits, opened the sixth with a single at the end of a 12-pitch at-bat against Volquez, and Gonzalez singled him home with one out. But Padres reliever Joe Thatcher struck out Todd Helton and Brad Brach, who fanned three of the four Rockies he faced, struck out Michael Cuddyer. Luke Gregerson (one inning) and Dale Thayer (first save) preserved the lead.

"That was a typical Petco game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It usually comes down to relief work or a big hit. We got the pitching and they didn't get the big hit."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.