Alonso's grand slam not enough as Padres fall

Alonso's grand slam not enough as Padres fall

Alonso's grand slam not enough as Padres fall
SAN DIEGO -- One big swing got the Padres back into a game Friday that looked daunting to say the least.

A bunch of smaller ones by the Rockies, though, added up in a big way, as Colorado ran off with the first game of a three-game series, a 7-4 victory over the Padres before a crowd of 25,018 at Petco Park.

The Rockies (58-85) pounded out 14 hits and got home runs from Chris Nelson and Charlie Blackmon to edge the Padres (69-76) in a game that looked like it might be a runaway early.

How early?

Try the first inning, as Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (3-4) allowed the first five hitters of the game to reach base on a single, hit batter, single, two-run double and another two-run double as the Rockies bolted to a 5-0 lead.

"It was tough," Cashner said. "I kept battling out there but couldn't catch a break."

It wasn't like Cashner was hit particularly hard, though Wilin Rosario's two-run double to deep left field was clearly the hardest hit ball of the inning. Instead, Cashner allowed three infield hits in the inning -- including a ball chopped off the plate and a swinging bunt.

Jordan Pacheco also had a two-run double in the inning, a ball hit down the right field line that he was behind on. Again, it wasn't a terrible pitch from Cashner.

"He wasn't really hitting his spots," Padres manager Bud Black said. "And they were putting the ball in play. He couldn't really finish them off. I think we've seen him better as far as stuff."

Cashner survived the first inning but didn't last much longer, as he was gone after 3 2/3 innings. All told, he allowed six runs on 10 hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

"I couldn't stop it," Cashner said of the Rockies' hit barrage. "I have got to find a way to try and minimize that. It's tough, but that's the game."

The big first inning didn't exactly have a deflating effect on the Padres, who came back with four runs in the bottom of the inning -- all coming on one mighty swing.

First baseman Yonder Alonso jumped on a 2-1 fastball from Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood, sending it the other way to left field -- no easy task at Petco Park for a left-handed hitter -- as the Padres got back into the game.

The Alonso home run was preceded by singles from Will Venable and Chase Headley and a walk to Yasmani Grandal that loaded the bases. Alonso took a big hack at a 2-0 fastball from Chatwood and fouled it back -- the next time he didn't miss.

"I believe that's his second one [opposite-field home run] ... that's a good sign for Yo," Black said. "We talk a lot about his ability to use all fields. But that should give him confidence that he can do that."

The grand slam was the first for Alonso, a rookie, and his eighth home run of the season. The Padres have four grand slams this season.

Despite the early runs, Rockies manager Jim Tracy wasn't entirely comfortable, especially with the way the Padres -- who saw their four-game win streak snapped -- have been playing.

"We beat a team that's playing terrific baseball," Tracy said. "They were playing terrific baseball when we played them at our place. This division has gotten very interesting from that standpoint."

By the end of the first inning, nine runs had been scored, giving the illusion that this might well end up a Coors Field kind of game. But only two more runs were scored after that opening inning.

The Rockies' bullpen made sure of that, as five relievers followed Chatwood, with Guillermo Moscoso (3-1) getting the victory by tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Rafael Betancourt worked a scoreless ninth for his 29th save of the season.

"Their bullpen did a good job. They put up eight zeroes. They did a nice job. Overall, they outpitched us," Black said.

That's not to say the Padres didn't have their chances.

Cameron Maybin, who had two hits and is batting .407 over his last 23 games, tripled to start the fourth inning. But he was left stranded.

Then, in the fifth inning, Headley singled and Grandal walked. Colorado reliever Jonathan Herrera fell behind Alonso with three quick balls before Alonso popped up on the very next pitch.

"We had a couple of chances," Black said. "We couldn't sustain any hits."

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.