DENVER (AP) — Jordan Lyles doesn’t want to relive his first loss of the season. The young right-hander just wants to leave it behind.
Lyles’ 5-0 start has been a pleasant surprise in the Colorado Rockies’ early success, but Saturday he struggled for the first time since coming over from Houston. The 23-year-old had trouble finding his command and was knocked around in an 8-5 loss to the San Diego Padres.
“I’m not sure I want to watch the film,” he said. “It’s going to hurt.”
Lyles, who saw his ERA increase to 3.50 from 2.66, had control problems from the outset. He issued first-inning walks to Everth Cabrera and Seth Smith before giving up a two-run double to Yonder Alonso.
Smith hit a two-run homer off Lyles (5-1) in the second, and the Padres tacked on two more in the third.
Lyles issued a season-high six walks before being pulled with one out in the fourth and his team trailing 5-1.
“I just didn’t throw enough strikes. Too many balls, too many walks,” Lyles said. “I’m not going to be successful like that. You can’t put guys on base that many times. It’s just one of those things you learn from. Turn the corner and get better from it.”
The Rockies nearly rallied against San Diego starter Robbie Erlin (3-4). They got an early home run from Troy Tulowitzki and chipped away at the Padres’ lead, pulling to within a run on Carlos Gonzalez’s two-run double in the sixth inning.
With the tying run on second Jordan Pacheco grounded into a double play to end the inning.
“Guys fought back really well. Got back early, made a move and got in a position to win that game,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “A great job fighting back, but we just came up short.”
Carlos Quentin batted for reliever Nick Vincent in the seventh inning and followed Yasmani Grandal’s two-out single with a drive off reliever Chris Martin that sailed into the left field bleachers for his first home run of the season to make it 8-5.
Tulowitzki, who finished with three hits to continue his hot start, came to the plate with two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh but third baseman Chase Headley made a diving grab of his liner that was headed into left field.
“Every time late in the game when we’re behind we feel like we can put a rally together,” Gonzalez said. “Bad luck, I guess, tonight. That at-bat Tulo smoked the ball to third base, that was a great chance for us. The whole game changed.”
Erlin, who entered hitless in 11 at-bats over his eight previous games, singled twice, including an RBI single in the third inning that capped three consecutive two-run innings by the Padres.
On the mound, Erlin allowed four runs on nine hits. He struck out two and walked none and benefited from a defense that turned five double plays, including four in the first five innings. Huston Street, also a former Rockie, got three outs for his 13th save in as many opportunities.
Tulowitzki hit his NL-leading 12th homer of the season with two outs in the first to make it 2-1.
Smith, who played for the Rockies from 2007-11, made it 4-1 San Diego in the second. One out after Chris Denorfia doubled, Smith drove a 1-1 offering from Lyles over the center field fence for his fourth home run of the season.
“We weren’t ready for that,” Gonzalez said of Lyles’ outing. “The way he’s been pitching all year when he’s on the mound you expect something better than that. He’s been really good since he got the call. Tough loss.”
The Rockies pulled to 6-3 on Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly in the fourth and Pacheco’s RBI single in the fifth.
By Michael Kelly, AP Sports Writer (© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)