DENVER -- Our own holly96 coined it the "Annual Culberson Memorial Walk-off Game." The Rockies got a win they badly needed as infielder Daniel Descalso provided the walk-off hit, scoring Nolan Arenado and giving the Rockies a 5-4 win over the Padres.
With the game tied at four in the ninth, Nolan Arenado led off with a single against Padres reliever Shawn Kelley. It was Arenado's second hit of the game, his first back in the lineup after being held out Monday and Tuesday with a sore left wrist.
"(The wrist) felt bad when I took a couple of bad swings," Arenado said. "But that's what I get for swinging at bad pitches. All in all it felt good."
With men on the corners and one out, San Diego elected to intentionally walk DJ LeMahieu to load the bases and went with a five-man infield against Descalso, who lined an 0-1 pitch into the gap in left-center for the win.
The Rockies were put in position to win thanks to a solid start from right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who went seven innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts, providing some much-needed rest to an extensively-used Rockies bullpen.
"I really should have gone further than I did, but we got the W and that's all that matters," Kendrick said.
Rockies catcher Michael McKenry said he was impressed by the performance of his battery mate.
"I thought Kendrick did outstanding," McKenry said. "He kept the ball down, got a lot of ground balls and let some of the best infieders in the game do what they do."
The Rockies infield did have quite the game defensively, especially in the top of the seventh when shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made a diving play to retire Will Middlebrooks and Arenado had one of his own to get Wil Myers out and end the inning, stranding Padres runners on second and third, saving two runs.
"Nolan made some outstanding plays tonight," Kendrick said. "Gotta give credit to him. Saved the game in the seventh."
After second baseman Yangervis Solarte got San Diego on the board with a solo home run in the top of the first, Corey Dickerson announced his return to the Rockies' lineup with a home run of his own to straight away center field against Padres starter James Shields. The Rockies took the lead later in the inning when Arenado brought home first baseman Justin Morneau, who had singled, with a double.
The Rockies got to Shields again in the second, which started with back-to-back doubles from McKenry and LeMahieu to give Colorado a 3-1 lead, the first of the two doubles kicking off a three-hit night for the Rockies catcher.
"Any time you can get three hits it feels great, especially with a guy like James Shields on the mound," McKenry said.
The game stayed at 3-1 until the sixth when Myers hit a solo home run of his own to bring the Padres within a run. San Diego then took the lead with a pair of runs in the seventh courtesy of a single from Yonder Alonso and doubles by Derek Norris and Cory Spangenberg against Kendrick.
Dickerson struck again in the eighth against Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit, hitting his second solo home run of the game, again to center field, to tie the game at four.
"He really looks good when he hits them out," Arenado said of Dickerson. "Right when he hit them, we all knew they were gone."
The Rockies will look to split the series tomorrow afternoon as Jordan Lyles takes on Tyson Ross. According to Arenado, the Rockies are heading into tomorrow's game with a good bit of confidence.
"We have our starting lineup back," Arenado said. "As long as we have our guys out there, we are going to win a lot of games."