Stubbs' RBI single lifts Rockies past Padres
DENVER (AP) Facing a five-man infield, Drew Stubbs hit the ball hard enough to find a hole and end the game.
Stubbs' tiebreaking RBI single in the 12th inning squirted through a gap in San Diego's desperation defensive alignment, lifting the Colorado Rockies past the Padres, 7-6, on Saturday night.
D.J. LeMahieu doubled off Jesse Hahn (7-4) to start the 12th and Charlie Culberson sacrificed him to third. Hahn then intentionally walked Charlie Blackmon and San Diego manager Bud Black aligned three defenders between third and second base, along with an extra defender between first and second in hopes of cutting off any grounder and getting the runner at the plate.
But Stubbs singled sharply down the third base line and the ball rolled into left field, allowing LeMahieu to score the winning run and sending the Padres to their fourth loss in a row.
''He hit the ball hard and he had to hit it hard to get the ball through a five-man infield,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Stubbs said Hahn threw him three straight curveballs and the last one tailed over the outer edge of the plate.
''I didn't get it up in the air like I wanted to, but I hit it well enough to find the hole,'' Stubbs said. ''That was the first time I've had five guys in the infield. It's an interesting tactic by them. A few feet either way, and it might have worked.''
San Diego manager Bud Black stacked his infield defense in hopes of preventing a ball from getting through.
''You've seen a lot of teams doing it, make them hit the ball over our heads,'' Black said. ''But it is a tough situation.''
Nick Masset (2-0) picked up the victory with an inning of scoreless relief.
Justin Morneau finished with four hits, including a home run, and two RBIs for the Rockies. LeMahieu added a two-run single as Colorado won for the fourth time in five games.
Joe Wieland had a rocky return to the big leagues after a nearly 2 1/2-year absence following reconstructive right elbow surgery. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 2 1-3 innings in his first appearance since May 6, 2012, against Miami at Petco Park, but did not figure in the decision.
Jorge De La Rosa, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier this week, left in the sixth with a 6-3 lead but the Rockies bullpen couldn't hold it.
The Padres evened the score at 6-all in the eighth on former Rockie Seth Smith's RBI single off reliever Rex Brothers.
Michael McKenry homered off Weiland in the second and tacked on an RBI single during a three-run third that also included Morneau's two-run shot for his 15th homer of the season.
San Diego, blanked in a 3-0 loss the night before, broke through in the fourth on the first of two RBI singles by Jedd Gyorko. Tommy Medica homered to start the fifth, and pinch-hitter Cory Spangenberg had a two-run homer off reliever Tommy Kahnle in the seventh, pulling the Padres to within a run.
The teams combined to use 19 pitchers in the game, including San Diego's Andrew Cashner who flied out as a pinch-hitter to end the 11th with runners at the corners. ''Those games can last a long time in September with the expanded rosters because you just keep firing players and it seems like you never run out, though they did run out of position players,'' Weiss said.
Padres: LF Abraham Almonte was shaken up when he slipped and fell hard as he charged Josh Rutledge's sinking liner that dropped for a double in the third inning. Tended to by team trainers for several minutes, Almonte got to his feet and remained in the game until the sixth. RHP Joaquin Benoit, working to return from soreness in his pitching shoulder, played catch Saturday. Manager Bud Black said he came out of the light workout fine. Benoit has missed the last 10 games but the Padres are hoping he'll be able to return before the end of the season.
Rockies: X-rays taken on the left ankle of LHP Christian Friedrich revealed no structural damage. Friedrich twisted the ankle duing an appearance in Tuesday's game with San Francisco, falling down on the mound when he took a bad step during his follow-through.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (13-12) comes into Sunday's series finale with a streak of 14 consecutive quality starts, the longest such streak in team history.
Rockies: LHP Franklin Morales (5-7) will be seeking his first win since July 8, which came against San Diego. He's 0-3 with five no decisions and a 6.09 ERA in eight outings since then. However, he's 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his two previous starts against the Padres this season.