Big days from Headley, Amarista not enough

Big days from Headley, Amarista not enough

Big days from Headley, Amarista not enough
DENVER -- It had been a while since Padres manager Bud Black had the misery of sitting through a good old-fashioned Coors Field kind of game against the Rockies.

Once it happened Sunday, though, it all came back to him pretty quickly.

"It hasn't been that way [lately]. It's calmed down a little," Black said. "But that turned the clock back today."

The Padres pounded out 20 hits but fell to the Rockies in the final game of their three-game series, an 11-10 setback before a crowd of 30,678 that likely had trouble keeping up with the dizzying swings of leads and momentum.

This marked the second time in franchise history that the Padres had 20 hits in a loss. The last one also came at Coors Field, on August 4, 1995.

Alexi Amarista had a career-high five hits and Chase Headley -- coming off a month in which he had more home runs (10) and RBIs (31) than anyone in the Major Leagues -- had four hits and drove in a career-best six runs, though it all went for naught.

The Rockies, who took the final two games of the series, scored 11 runs on 11 hits and took advantage of two San Diego errors in improving to 55-77.

"We beat a ballclub... that's playing some of the better baseball in the industry," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy.

The Padres (62-73), who open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday, saw rookie pitcher Casey Kelly allowed seven runs (five earned) in the third inning and saw rookie reliever Tommy Layne and Brad Brach (1-4) struggle mightily to hold a lead.

Kelly, coming off a start Monday against the Braves where he threw six shutout innings, allowed a pair of two-run home runs -- to Tyler Colvin and Ramon Hernandez -- in the third inning. A fielding error by Amarista at second base paved the way for two more unearned runs.

"From the beginning of the game, I was up in the zone a lot. In the third, I got behind and left some balls up," Kelly said. "After that, I was trying to work down in the zone and get ahead."

For as bad as that third inning was, Kelly didn't let it consume him. In fact, he retired the next six hitters that he faced before allowing a single to Hernandez to start the sixth inning.

"That says a lot about Casey," Black said. "He was fine. He wasn't rattled. He kept battling. He just went out there and kept pitching."

Black wasn't the only one impressed with the way Kelly -- a 22-year-old right-hander who is regarded as the organization's top pitching prospect -- handled himself after that big inning.

"I thought he showed a lot of maturity and resiliency," Headley said.

As for Headley, he had a two-run home run in the first inning off Jeff Francis, an RBI single in the third, a two-run single in the fourth and later added an RBI single in the sixth inning for an 8-7 lead. A switch-hitter, Headley had three hits right-handed and one left-handed.

"I thought both teams kept playing," Headley said. "We kept going, playing hard."

Headley is hitting .282 with 23 home runs and 89 RBIs on the season, which are 42 more than the next closet player on the roster.

"This year [he] has really manifested [himself] into a guy who is doing it all," Black said of Headley.

Headley's last hit produced a run that gave the Padres an 8-7. That lead increased to 9-7 following a run-scoring single by Amarista. But that lead would be short-lived.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Layne, a left-hander, started the inning by plunking Carlos Gonzalez in the back with a pitch. Layne then allowed a single to Jordan Pacheco. Colvin then bunted the runners to second and third base.

Black went to his bullpen for Brach, who allowed a towering home run to straightaway center field to Chris Nelson on a slider up in the strike zone for a 10-9 Rockies lead.

One inning later, and with Brach still in the game, he walked Charlie Blackmon to start the inning and then threw wide of first base on a pickoff attempt. Dexter Fowler followed with a single up the middle that allowed Blackmon to score, making it 11-9.

That run proved to be critical in the ninth inning when the Padres got a run back on another single by Amarista to make it 11-10. Pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay also reached base on a single -- the 20th hit of the day -- before Chris Denorfia grounded out to end the game.

Twenty hits, including seven with runners in scoring position, and yet it wasn't enough.

"I'll take that every night," Black said. "We'll take our chances."

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.