San Diego, CA—Pinch-hitter Rob Johnson capped a six-run eighth inning with a two-run double to help the San Diego Padres record an 8-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies and avoid a sweep in the finale of a three- game series at Petco Park.
Jesus Guzman picked up two hits and three RBI, Chase Headley ripped an RBI triple and Jason Bartlett added a pair of hits and two runs scored for the Padres, who had lost seven of their previous nine games.
"To break through like that and get a few hits and runs, sometimes it snowballs and you can get a little bit of momentum," Headley said. "Guys start to feel good about themselves, so hopefully we can build on it and play well over the next couple months."
Chad Qualls (5-5) worked one inning of scoreless relief to earn the win and
Heath Bell tossed a perfect ninth to finish off the Rockies.
Troy Tulowitzki went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored for Colorado, which had its three game winning streak snapped.
Rex Brothers (1-1) was unable to record an out in the eighth, giving up three runs and a pair of walks before being removed.
"That first guy, I had him 0-2 and didn't execute a pitch from then on out," Brothers said of his rough outing. "I didn't hold up my end of the deal today."
In the eighth, Bartlett worked a leadoff walk and Headley followed with a triple to deep center field to knot the game at 3-3. Kyle Blanks walked to put runners on first and third. Guzman came up next and smacked an RBI single through a drawn-in Colorado infield to give the Padres the lead for good at 4-3.
Guzman and Blanks moved up on an errant pickoff throw by catcher Eliezer Alfonzo to give the Padres runners on second and third with no outs. Following a Gonzalez groundout, Logan Forsythe lined a ball to center, but Fowler was unable to make the play which allowed a fifth run to cross the plate. Martinez then ripped a single to left to give San Diego a 6-3 advantage. Johnson finished off the inning by clubbing a two-run double for an 8-3 Padres lead.
Bell entered in the ninth inning and calmly dispatched of the Rockies, despite being the subject of numerous trade rumors prior to the 4 p.m. (et) trade deadline. Bell was most notably rumored to be heading to the Philadelphia Phillies, but was not dealt.
Earlier, Colorado opened the scoring in the second inning. Tulowitzki singled to lead off the frame and then stole second. Ty Wigginton followed with a walk and, after Chris Nelson struck out, Alfonzo reached on an infield single to load the bases. Ryan Spilborghs lofted a sacrifice fly to left to score Tulowitzki for a 1-0 Colorado lead.
In the third, Dexter Fowler and Todd Helton smacked back-to-back one-out singles and Tulowitzki knocked in Fowler with a base hit to center to give the Rockies a 2-0 advantage. Colorado still had runners on first and second with one out following the RBI, but Padres starter Wade LeBlanc battled back to retire Wigginton and Alfonzo on fly outs to limit the damage.
Headley led off the Padres fourth with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Alfonzo. Guzman followed with an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Rockies made it a 3-1 game in the fifth. Fowler singled to lead off and moved to second on a one-out single by Tulowitzki to give Colorado runners on first and second with one down. After Wigginton fanned, Nelson came though with an RBI single to right.
San Diego responded with a run in the sixth on an RBI double by Guzman to make it a 3-2 contest.
The Padres put the tying run on base in the seventh with one out. Rockies starter Juan Nicasio remained composed, fanning Orlando Hudson and inducing a line out to second from Cameron Maybin to preserve the lead.
The Padres are 2-4 on their current nine-game homestand...Prior to Sunday's game, the Padres shipped one of their best bullpen arms in Mike Adams to the
Texas Rangers in exchange for minor league pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. San Diego also sent outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later and cash...Headley smacked his first triple of the season in the eighth...Nicasio gave up two runs on five hits over seven frames while fanning a career-high 10 batters and walking two...LeBlanc yielded three runs on nine hits over six innings of work.