Padres top Rockies for 10th win in 11 games

Padres top Rockies for 10th win in 11 games

Padres top Rockies for 10th win in 11 games
DENVER -- Just another night at Coors Field, where there was no shortage of home runs or late-inning bullpen drama, two aspects that rate as commonplace in these parts.

But if you're looking for the primary reason why the Padres were able to edge the Rockies on Friday, look no further than Cameron Maybin's two legs.

That's right, his legs.

Maybin essentially stole a run in the eighth inning that proved to be critical to the Padres' 5-4 victory over the Rockies before a crowd of 27,366.

With the Padres (62-71) holding a 4-3 lead and with one out in the eighth, Maybin grounded a ball into the hole between first and second base. The ball kicked off the glove of shortstop Josh Rutledge and rolled fast into right field.

Not content with a single -- his third hit of the game -- Maybin rounded the first base bag and kept on running, sliding safely into second base.

"The ball rolled away, and that's a long run for both guys," Maybin said of Rutledge and right fielder Andrew Brown. "It's was just running with your head up. Before I got to first base, I saw the ball squirt away from him."

Maybin wasn't done there. Three batters later, he took off for third base on a stolen base attempt and kept on running, scoring on Chris Denorfia's infield single to give the Padres a two-run advantage that they would need after Luke Gregerson allowed a home run in the ninth inning before preserving the victory.

A Coors Field victory, built on speed. Imagine that.

"That's what speed does," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Cam was hustling down the line. That's what Cam has to do. He's got to utilize his legs."

Maybin's speed wasn't the sole factor in the Padres victory over the Rockies (53-77), as Clayton Richard allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings for his 12th victory, Carlos Quentin hit a home run and knocked in two runs and the bullpen trio of rookies Brad Brach, Tommy Layne and Dale Thayer combined for five important outs.

The Padres finished the month of August by winning 10 of 11 games for an 18-10 record, the most victories in any one month since they also won 18 games in August, 2007.

"They've got a good team, good players -- guys who have waited for their opportunity," said Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario.

Part of the reason the Padres fared so well in August was the left arm of Richard (12-12), who won five games this month. He was cruising early on Friday, allowing one run over the first five innings while throwing just 62 pitches.

But in the sixth inning, Richard -- who got 13 ground ball outs -- allowed home runs to Jordan Pacheco and Rosario, cutting the Padres' lead to 4-3.

"I didn't quite execute late in the game as much as I did early," said Richard, who allowed three runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts. "I think it cost me from going deeper in the game."

The bullpen was there to help, though, as Brach got two fly balls to end the seventh inning, after Richard was done. Layne, the left-hander, then struck out Carlos Gonzalez in the eighth before Dale Thayer followed with two strikeouts of his own.

In the ninth inning, Gregerson, filling in with All-Star closer Huston Street on the disabled list, allowed a leadoff home run to Brown and then allowed the tying run to reach base. But Gregerson pushed on, getting two fly balls to end the game.

"That can rattle you a little, but the strikeout of [Tyler] Colvin was big, and then Luke made some pitches after that," Black said.

The Padres looked to be in good shape early, as Quentin connected for his 15th home run of the season in the second inning, a leadoff shot to center field off Rockies pitcher Alex White (2-7). Quentin later added an RBI double in the fifth inning.

Chase Headley also knocked in a run on Friday, his 31st of the month. He finished August tied for fourth in club history for the most RBIs in a month, nine behind Ryan Klesko, who had 40 in May, 2001.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.