Pacheco leads charge past Padres in extras

Pacheco leads charge past Padres in extras

Pacheco leads charge past Padres in extras
SAN DIEGO -- Standing at second base, Michael Cuddyer saw teammate Jordan Pacheco in the batter's box and expected something special.

Pacheco delivered, with his career-best fourth RBI, a 12th-inning single that helped the Rockies to an 8-6 victory over the Padres at Petco Park in front of 37,147 on Saturday night.

"He puts together professional at-bats -- you don't see a rookie put that together," said Cuddyer, who had a red-letter night himself, with a career high-tying four hits. "He makes contact, doesn't strike out a lot, and has a knack for finding that hole or lining it over the infielders' heads. When there's a guy at second base, he's a guy you want at bat."

Pacheco began the year on the roster, was sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs, and since his return on May 15 has hit .319 and earned the trust of teammates.

"'Cuddy' did a good job tonight, getting on second base for us," said Pacheco, who knocked in the go-ahead run off Joe Thatcher and scored an insurance run on Ramon Hernandez's single. "I don't know. I guess it's watching other guys, how they do it, talking to [veteran teammate Jason] Giambi about having a plan. It makes you much more comfortable in that situation."

The Rockies ended their losing streak at three games. The Padres saw not only their win streak end at four games, but had a 24 1/3-inning scoreless bullpen streak snapped.

A late West Coast game between teams occupying the final two spots in the National League West is not the stuff of headlines, but after high-scoring early innings -- not the norm at Petco -- it became a duel of pitching and defense that the sport can only hope for when contending teams tough it out in crucial games.

Rockies starter Jeff Francis gave up five runs in five innings, but struck out five and didn't walk anyone and left with a 6-5 lead. Padres starter Kip Wells held the Rockies to one hit in the first three innings, but the Rockies touched him for six runs on eight hits -- including Pacheco's two-run single and one-run double -- and a walk in the fourth and fifth frames.

Beyond that, stellar work by the teams' combined bullpens meant there was one run between the end of the fifth and the top of the 12th -- Yasmani Grandal's two-out, two-strike single off Matt Belisle to drive in the tying run in the eighth.

Each team had a memorable defensive play.

With one out and two on against Belisle in the ninth, Padres pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay pulled a liner to right field only to see Tyler Colvin -- playing toward the gap because Kotsay typically doesn't pull the ball -- make an all-out diving catch.

"I didn't think I was going to get there," Colvin said. "I went at it hard and as I got closer and closer, I realized I was going to have a chance."

Padres manager Bud Black said, "That was incredible. Their guy made a great catch."

After Padres second baseman Logan Forsythe dove but couldn't throw in time to prevent Dexter Fowler's two-out single in the 11th, right fielder Will Venable dove near the right-field line and snared Marco Scutaro's line drive off a Luke Gregerson pitch to end the inning.

"I thought we were in deep, deep trouble when I saw where [Colvin] started and had to get to, but I actually thought the same thing when Marco Scutaro hit his ball," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Those two better show up on the MLB Network."

Although Francis saw his streak of starts giving up three or fewer runs end at six, it turned out to be a night of accomplishment for the Rockies' paired pitching system that uses four starters plus relievers poised to cover innings between when the starter leaves and the late bullpen takes charge.

Right-hander Adam Ottavino, whom Tracy wants to join Josh Roenicke in that crucial role between the starters and the matchup guys, pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and forced a double-play grounder. Rex Brothers struck out both batters he faced. Belisle pitched around four hits while giving up a run.

The hits in the 12th made a winner of righty Carlos Torres for the second time in his career and first time since Sept. 3, 2009 with the White Sox. Torres pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts.

"It was like any other day -- I didn't think about it until somebody said it," Torres said. "It was interesting how the game ended up playing out."

Rafael Betancourt's perfect 12th with one strikeout put an end to a game worth framing.

"Both teams obviously wanted to win and they're going all-out for stuff," Colvin said. "Like when Forsythe dove and stopped Dexter's ball right there almost got that play [in the 11th]. You look back and there were great plays made throughout."

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.