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Padres 5, Rockies 3: Tyler Matzek unable to overcome HRs despite 9 strikeouts

Matzek pitched well at times but was unable to fend off the sweep at the hands of the Padres, who are quietly sneaking into the NL Wild Card picture.

Denis Poroy

Rockies rookie starter Tyler Matzek seems to be every bit the enigma at the big league level that he was in the minors, only his wild unpredictability now seems to bounce from inning to inning (and even batter to batter) rather than game to game.

Matzek was brilliant at times on Wednesday, as evidenced by his nine strikeouts, but the 23-year-old left-hander also surrendered a pair of home runs and and eight hits in six innings to a weak Padres offense in a 5-3 loss that capped off a sweep for San Diego.

The Padres lineup was dumbfounded at times by Matzek, but that statement does not apply to Jedd Gyorko, who went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles, and Abraham Almonte, who had a couple of hits including a home run. Meanwhile, Colorado's offense was largely unable to capitalize on the few real big opportunities it had, although the unit was able to muster up 10 hits. Charlie Blackmon led the Rockies with three knocks. Corey Dickerson and DJ LeMahieu, who hit Colorado's lone homer, had two apiece.

San Diego jumped out to early leads of 1-0 and 3-1 before LeMahieu's homer and Justin Morneau's two-out double tied the game in the fifth. Matzek was unable to hold the lead, surrendering a leadoff two-bagger to Gyorko to start the fifth and a sacrifice fly later in the inning. In the next frame, Almonte took Matzek deep with one out, giving the Padres insurance that they wouldn't even need thanks to a bullpen that combined for five strikeouts in three scoreless innings. Whiffs were a common theme for the Rockies in this series; after striking out 13 times in the finale, Colorado finished with 37 Ks in three games in San Diego.

The Rockies (46-74) will be back in action on Thursday against the Reds to kick off Todd Helton weekend at Coors Field. Hopefully their bats are a bit more competitive in honor of one of the greatest hitters of his era. Meanwhile, the Padres are suddenly only six games behind the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot. Go get 'em, Friars.

Source: FanGraphs

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