Gray fans 12; CarGo hits 2 2-run HRs in Rockies' 10-3 win
SAN DIEGO (AP) As spectacular as Carlos Gonzalez's two two-run home runs were, the slugger eagerly deferred to the performance of Colorado Rockies right-hander Jon Gray.
Showing terrific command of his slider, Gray struck out a career-high 12, including the first five batters, and Nolan Arenado also homered and drove in three runs as the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 10-3 on Sunday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
''I mean, he was the man tonight,'' said Gonzalez, who drove in five runs. ''Forget about the homers that I hit, and Nolan got hot again. It's always nice to see the offense go. But when you get an early lead, especially the way we've been playing, and see a guy like him step up and pound the strike zone, dominate the opponent, it gives you a little breathing room. It's always great.
''You need a pitcher for whenever you're limping, show up and stop the bleeding. That's exactly what he did tonight,'' Gonzalez said.
Gray, the Rockies' 2013 first-round draft pick who made his big league debut last year, likes to hear he's earning his teammates' trust.
''That's my goal. That's what I want,'' Gray said. ''I want to go out there and have guys behind me. It's extremely important to me and I think it's extremely important to the team to build momentum.''
Gray (4-2) is the second Rockies pitcher to start a game with five straight strikeouts. Bruce Ruffin did it on June 13, 1993, against Houston. Gray is the first to do it in the majors this season.
Gray's previous career high was 11 strikeouts, also against the Padres on May 2 at Petco Park. He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings and walked one.
Gray allowed Wil Myers' RBI double in the fourth and solo homer in the sixth, his 10th.
Gray wanted to go back out for the eighth, ''but I don't know if I had much left in the tank. I sat for a long time between those innings. ... It was all good vibes, especially after we put up a couple of early runs.''
Gray threw 93 pitches, making it the first time a Rockies pitcher struck out 12 and threw fewer than 100 pitches.
He said the command of his slider ''has made a huge difference, to be able to put it wherever I want.''
Both of Gonzalez's shots were to center field. His first, in the first inning, was estimated at 444 feet, and his second, in the ninth, went 409 feet. He has 13 on the season and eight in his past 10 games.
Arenado also hit a two-run homer. He had three hits, missing the cycle by a triple, and reached base five times. He was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Brandon Maurer in the ninth inning.
Arenado was aboard for both of Gonzalez's homers.
Arenado's shot and Gonzalez's first homer were off rookie Luis Perdomo (1-2), who started in place of James Shields. Shields was traded to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Arenado extended his NL lead with his 18th homer, a line shot to left with one out in the fifth. Trevor Story was aboard on a double.
Perdomo, who pitched in Class A last year, allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out three and walked one.
''He is on the verge of figuring it out. He mostly got hurt on his off-speed pitches,'' manager Andy Green said. ''His mistakes are middle of the plate, right where the hitter is looking for it. But there is more than enough that makes you think he has a chance to be special someday. In an ideal world, he's learning in Double-A right now.''
San Diego's Brett Wallace homered with one out in the ninth, his third.
Rockies: RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-4, 2.99) is scheduled to start the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will counter with RHP Mike Bolsinger (1-2, 4.20).
Padres: LHP Christian Friedrich (2-1, 2.53) is scheduled to start the opener of a three-game home series against Atlanta, which will start RHP Williams Perez (2-1, 3.86).