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Padres 8, Rockies 1: No longer California dreamin’

The Rockies fell back to Earth hard against the Padres to finish off their California road trip.

The Colorado Rockies had a chance to top off a lengthy road trip with a series victory this afternoon after two excellent wins against the San Diego Padres. Unfortunately, they fell behind early after a rough outing from Austin Gomber, and ended up losing 8-1 for a series tie.

Austin Gone-ber

Coming off back-to-back quality starts after his return from the injured list, Austin Gomber kicked off the game in promising fashion with a four pitch strikeout of Tommy Pham. Things quickly devolved from there. Gomber walked Adam Frazier on five pitches, then gave up a single to Manny Machado. A Jake Cronenworth double cleared the bases and put the Padres up early. It isn’t ideal to be down early, but it’s only two runs and a recoverable situation. Gomber walked Wil Myers to load the bases, but then struck out new Padres acquisition Jake Marisnick for the second out. Escaping with minimal damage was within view... until Ha-Seong Kim struck a two-run double to put the Padres up 4-0. Gomber would strike out the ninth batter of the inning in pitcher Reiss Knehr to stop the bleeding, but the damage was done. He would not return for the second inning and the Rockies would run a bullpen game for the remaining seven innings.

Rockies skipper Bud Black said in his post-game press conference that he pulled Gomber after his 40-pitch first inning because he didn’t want to push his pitcher too hard when he was just a few games removed from the IL.

Battling Bullpens

Padres starter Reiss Knehr departed the game after the third inning as the afternoon turned into an early bullpen duel. Unfortunately, the Padres’ top ranked bullpen won quite handily. The Padres bullpen shut out the Rockies for the remainder of the game. The Rockies bullpen gave up a run in four of the seven innings they worked.

The surprise out of the bullpen was the well-traveled Ashton Goudeau, who threw three complete innings while allowing one hit and one run. Goudeau struck out three, but hit a batter in the fourth inning who would then score on a double. Rookie Antonio Santos had the worst of it, giving up two runs on three hits over 1 23 innings of work, including a home run to Ha-Seong Kim. However, he also struck out three batters with no walks. Lucas Gilbreath, the Rockies’ rookie left handed reliever, pitched 1 13 innings with a hit, a walk, and a home run for a solid outing. Gilbreath continues to improve in his debut campagin, and struck out three batters as well. Zac Rosscup closed out the game in the eighth inning with a clean frame, his third appearance in a row without giving up a home run.

All the runs are gone, and the sky is gray

The Rockies offense, which had appeared to be bouncing back over the last two games, vanished for the finale. The Rockies’ sole run came in the second inning off the bat of Sam Hilliard with a solo home run. Hilliard has been working his way back from an atrocious slump that saw him jettisoned to Triple-A Albuquerque earlier in the season. Since returning to the team on July 16, Hilliard has pulled his average up to .176 and has hit three home runs. Hilliard was 2-for-4 on the day with his home run and an infield single. Brendan Rodgers continues to thrive with an everyday workload, extending his hit streak and on-base streak to nine games. San Diego native Connor Joe also has himself a small hit streak, with at least one hit three games in a row in three consecutive starts.

Odds and Ends

It’s not quite a Germán Márquez home run, but long-reliever Ashton Goudeau, recently re-acquired from Cincinnati, took his first major-league at-bat this afternoon. The first swing was ugly. The second swing got him his first career hit.

Garrett Hampson pinch-hit for starting third baseman Rio Ruiz, and bizarrely stayed in the game at the hot corner. Hampson has never played third base at any professional level. Bud Black said after the game that he had Hampson taking grounders at third before the game, and wanted to increase the speedster’s positional versatility to get him more playing time.

Coming up next

The Rockies will head home tonight to enjoy a day off after their ten game California road trip. On Tuesday they’ll play host to the recently-demolished Chicago Cubs. Kyle Freeland will start for the Rockies against the Cubbies’ Zach Davis. First pitch is at 6:40 PM MDT.