San Diego 4, Colorado 3
When: 3:10 PM ET, Sunday, September 17, 2017
Where: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
Cory Blaser, 1B -
Roberto Ortiz, 2B -
Tony Randazzo, 3B -
DENVER -- After offering little resistance in two losses, the San Diego Padres struck late Sunday to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 and avoid a sweep in the three-game series.
The Padres tied the score with two runs in the eighth inning and won it in the ninth on a bunt.
Rockies closer Greg Holland (3-6) walked Matt Szczur with one out in the ninth. Szczur scampered to third when Allen Cordoba followed with a single up the middle that went off the glove of diving second baseman DJ LeMahieu.
Szczur scored on Austin Hedges' safety squeeze. After catcher Jonathan Lucroy instinctively moved from his position, Holland charged toward the plate to glove the ball, then dived toward Szczur but was unable to hold the ball while tagging him.
"I reacted to the ball, and it was kind of hit short," Holland said. "So I think Lucroy had to come out, and by that time we were kind of in no man's land. When it's happening that quick, I didn't know if he was going to get back home and even if he did if the exchange would be quick enough.
"So I just decided to try to tag him myself, because I saw him out of the corner of my eye. I should've went in with two hands, and I didn't. They gave me a gift, gave us a chance to get out of the inning there, and I didn't do it."
After Kirby Yates (4-5) pitched the eighth, Brad Hand worked the ninth for his 18th save.
Jon Gray, the Rockies' top starter, was sailing along before his outing was ended -- not by any offensive stirring from the Padres but by a one-hour, 23-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Gray allowed two hits and one walk in five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. He threw 63 pitches, including 40 strikes. He has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 consecutive starts, going 5-3 with a 2.58 ERA in that span.
"Mother Nature was probably the most valuable player today for us today," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We weren't doing much with Jon Gray, so getting him out of the game was probably the best thing that could happen to us."
On the one-year anniversary of Gray's only complete game, a four-hit shutout with no walks and a franchise-record 16 strikeouts against the Padres at Coors Field, he had visions before the rain of another complete game.
"I feel like we were getting better as the game was going on," Gray said. "Command got better, so it is frustrating. It kind of came out of nowhere. I didn't have an idea it was going to rain today at all."
The loss was just the fourth in 14 games for the Rockies. They lead the Milwaukee Brewers by 2 1/2 games and the St. Louis Cardinals by 4 1/2 games in the chase for the second National League wild-card spot. The Brewers won and the Cardinals lost Sunday.
The Padres broke a season-high-tying, five-game losing streak to finish a 3-5 road trip. They also ended a seven-game losing streak against the Rockies, their longest against Colorado in franchise history.
The Rockies took a 3-0 lead with a three-run fourth against Jhoulys Chacin, who began his career in the Rockies' organization and pitched at Coors Field for the first time since June 23, 2014.
Gerardo Parra singled home a run after Carlos Gonzalez led off with a walk and dashed to third on Nolan Arenado's single to right. Trevor Story followed Parra with a two-run double but was thrown out trying for a triple.
The rain also ended Chacin's 78-pitch outing. The right-hander gave up five hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
"I feel like I was making good pitches for the first three innings," Chacin said, "and then the fourth just bad pitches to Arenado and Story. Here you can't make those mistakes, especially with the lineup they have."
Yangervis Solarte made it 3-1 when he hit his 17th home run in the sixth, a 443-foot drive to left on a first-pitch fastball from Chris Rusin. Before the homer, the Padres had been held scoreless for 17 consecutive innings, dating from the seventh inning Friday.
It was an emotional day for Solarte, whose wife Yuliette, 31, died of complications from cancer exactly one year ago.
"It's hard for us to watch him playing," Chacin said. "When he hit that homer, you could see he was pointing to the sky to his wife. It was something you have to appreciate."
The Padres tied the score with a two-run eighth. Carlos Asuaje singled with two outs and Solarte followed with a double. Scott Oberg came on to face the dangerous Wil Myers and walked him on four pitches.
Hector Sanchez then singled home two runs, tagging the Rockies' bullpen with its first blown save since Aug. 23. In the interim, Colorado relievers were 8-for-8 in save opportunities.
One inning and one fateful bunt later, the Padres, who had been outscored 22-1 while dropping the first two games of the series, headed home with a win.
"Their bullpen outpitched our bullpen," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "That's about as plain as you can put it."
NOTES: Padres 1B Wil Myers was in the lineup after fouling a ball off the back of his right knee Saturday and leaving the game with a contusion. With his 20th steal, Myers joined Ryan Klesko as the second Padres player with multiple seasons with at least 25 homers and 20 stolen bases. ... Rockies PH Pat Valaika hit a grand slam Saturday from the leadoff spot, and his four RBIs combined with those of Charlie Blackmon marked the first time since 1920 (when major league RBIs were first recorded on scoresheets) that two players had four RBIs from the leadoff spot in the same game.
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