For one half inning, it was great.
Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer, his first on the road this season (in the 42nd game), and the Rockies were winning 3-0 in Tuesday’s game against the Padres. It only lasted until the Rockies started pitching. Chi Chi González loaded the bases all on walks, setting the stage for José Mujica to make his Rockies debut and give up a grand slam to perennial Rockie-killer Wil Myers. By the end of the second inning, it was 10-3.
It went on for seven more innings, but it was already over after the first two. The Rockies have now dropped to 20-22 and further out of the top-eight playoff race, while the Padres improved to 10 games over .500 at 27-17.
Padres take and then swing away
Three batters, three consecutive walks. A strikeout. Hitting Austin Nola with a pitch to score a run. That’s how González’s bid to replace the injured Jon Gray in the rotation went. As Bud Black aptly said after the game, “He wanted to throw strikes, but he just couldn’t.” González recorded 1/3 of an inning total, and thanks to Myers, got charged with three more earned runs. The grand slam was the Padres’ seven of the year. Slam Diego indeed. After the grand slam, Mujica gave up a double and single, but escaped further damage with the Rockies down 5-3.
The second inning was just as bad. Mujica gave up a two-run double to Manny Machado and then a three-run homer to Nola. In his first appearance for Rockies, Mujica he gave up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, two of which were homers in 2 2/3 innings. He’s ERA is 20.25.
Offense quiet again
After being shut out on Monday night, the Rockies again went silent at the plate after Nolan’s homer. In his second start as a Padre since being traded from Cleveland, Mike Clevinger, with sunflowers on his cleats and a toe-tapping, knee-bending mound dance before each pitch, then retired 11 straight Rockies. Clevinger posted eight strikeouts, getting the Rockies to chase low and away breaking balls all night. The Rockies struck out 13 times total in the game with Ryan McMahon accounting for three all by himself.
Down 11-3, Tony Wolters and Raimel Tapia finally each hit singles in the fifth. Then Wolters scored on a fielder’s choice by Trevor Story. The Rockies got their final run in the sixth when Arenado doubled and came around to score on an RBI single by Matt Kemp.
At least Santos was good
In his second appearance since being called up from the alternative training site on Aug. 31, Antonio Santos was able to stop the bleeding for the Rockies. He entered in the fourth inning and pitched three scoreless innings, forcing two double plays. Unfortunately, the streak ended in the seventh inning when Myers hit his second homer of the night (at least it was solo this time) and Jason Castro and Jurickson Profar both doubled. Jairo Díaz then came in, and outside of giving up a sac fly to Trent Grisham, held the Padres scoreless for the final six outs.
The Rockies will conclude the series with the Padres on Wednesday when Antonio Senzatela (3-1, 3.33) looks to help the Rockies avoid the sweep against San Diego righty Zach Davies (6-2, 2.23). First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.