SAN DIEGO (AP) – As if another road loss and 13 more strikeouts weren’t bad enough, the Colorado Rockies got the news Wednesday that All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki needs season-ending surgery on his left hip.
Rymer Liriano’s first big league homer was a two-run shot in the fourth inning and Abraham Almonte also went deep to help the San Diego Padres beat Colorado 5-3 Wednesday, tying their season-high with their fifth straight win.
Jedd Gyorko tied his career-high with four hits for the Padres, who are 16-8 since the All-Star break, including winning 11 of 14. The Padres swept a series for the third time this year, all at home.
The Rockies are heading the other way, losing 21 of 27 games.
Now they’ll be without Tulowitzki, who will have surgery Friday in Vail, Colorado.
The Rockies, who have the worst record in the majors at 18-44, struck out 13 times against Ian Kennedy (9-10) and four relievers, giving them 66 in their last six games.
“We’ve been striking out entirely too much lately,” manager Walt Weiss said. “It’s about competing when you get to two strikes.”
Weiss said it’s probably a combination of Rockies at-bats and opponents’ pitching.
“We talk about two-strike approach a lot,” he said. “We’ve done that since spring training. It was a priority for us. We were real good early and we haven’t been very good lately.”
Liriano was called up from Triple-A El Paso on Monday. His homer off rookie left-hander Tyler Matzek (2-8) went an estimated 427 feet onto the top deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner and gave San Diego a 3-1 lead. Chris Nelson was aboard on a leadoff single.
Almonte homered to left with one out in the sixth, his first since being acquired in a trade with Seattle on July 31.
Kennedy struck out eight in six innings while allowing three runs and six hits, with two walks. Benoit pitched the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
After Liriano’s homer gave San Diego a two-run lead, the Rockies tied it with a leadoff homer to left by DJ LeMahieu, his fourth, and an RBI double to left by Justin Morneau.
The Padres popped back ahead on Yasmani Grandal’s sacrifice fly in the fifth that brought in Gyorko, who hit a leadoff double.
“Traditionally, it’s tough to come in here and score a lot of runs so you’ve got to keep the Padres down if you want to win that game,” Weiss said. “We couldn’t get the big hit to win the game.”
San Diego got a run in the bottom of the first with some help from replay. Yangervis Solarte originally was called out on a grounder to shortstop. Manager Bud Black appealed and the call was overturned, giving Solarte an infield single. He scored on Rene Rivera’s one-out single.
Matzek allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out a career-high nine and walked two.
Gyorko raised his average to a season-high .199. He struggled after signing a $35 million contract extension two weeks into his second season. He later spent 44 games on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis.
The Rockies have lost six of seven, 14 of 17 and 21 of 27 games. Their 46-74 record is the worst in the majors.
The lefty collected his first big-league hit, beating out an infield single to shortstop in the third.
Rockies: Tulowitzki, whose .340 batting average remains tops in the big leagues, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 22, three days after he was hurt running out a grounder at Pittsburgh.
Padres: SS Solarte strained a muscle in his left side making an errant throw in the seventh and was replaced by Alexi Amarista. 1B Yonder Alonso will go on the DL with a right wrist injury.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (11-8, 4.34) starts at home Thursday vs. Cincinnati. He’s made nine straight starts of at least six innings.
Padres: LHP Eric Stults (5-13, 4.76) has allowed three or fewer runs earned runs in eight of his last nine starts going into his assignment Thursday at St. Louis.
– By BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
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