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Rockies’ Gray Struggles In 6-3 Loss To Friedrich, Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Jon Gray didn’t have his good slider Saturday night, which led to a short night for the right-hander against the San Diego Padres.

While former Rockies first-round draft pick Christian Friedrich pitched seven brilliant innings, Gray was gone after four innings of a 6-3 loss.

The Padres piled on against Gray (9-8), taking a 6-0 lead after two innings and chasing him after four.

Christian Friedrich #53 of the San Diego Padres throws the ball in the 3rd inning against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park on September 10, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)

Christian Friedrich #53 of the San Diego Padres throws the ball in the 3rd inning against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park on September 10, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)

Gray “was kind of searching for his slider tonight,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He was doing all right otherwise. It was a battle for him. He never really got locked in. He didn’t have his ‘A’ slider. Just an off night.”

Said Gray: “That’s my pitch. When that’s not there, it’s really tough. I think it was just my slider. If I had my slider, if I had something to pitch off of, it makes their hitters respect something. But I didn’t have it once again. It’s been too many times.”

San Diego’s Yangervis Solarte hit an RBI single off Gray in the first inning and a two-run double during the five-run second. Solarte’s second-inning double followed a two-run double by Wil Myers that went over left fielder David Dahl’s head and bounced into the stands.

Gray allowed six runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked three.

Friedrich matched his career-high with 10 strikeouts to win the first time since June 23.

Friedrich (5-10), the Rockies’ first-round draft pick in 2008, allowed two hits and walked one. He retired his final 13 batters and 19 of 20.

The Rockies got a runner into scoring position against Friedrich just once, when Carlos Gonzalez doubled with two outs in the first and advanced on a wild pitch. Nolan Arenado walked before Friedrich got Tom Murphy to fly out to left. The Rockies’ only other baserunner against Friedrich was DJ LeMahieu, who lined a comebacker off Friedrich’s left leg for a single in the third.

“He’s been tough on us a couple of times,” Weiss said. “He had a good angle on his fastball. That’s one of his keys. Good breaking ball, the curveball and the slider. We couldn’t figure him out.”

Friedrich had lost each of his last decisions during his previous 11 starts. His last victory was at Cincinnati on June 23.

Brandon Maurer pitched the ninth for his ninth save.

The Padres piled on against Jon Gray (9-8), taking a 6-0 lead after two innings and chasing him after four.

Yangervis Solarte hit an RBI single in the first and a two-run double during the five-run second. His second-inning double followed a two-run double by Wil Myers that went over left fielder David Dahl’s head and bounced into the stands.

Gray allowed six runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked three.

The Rockies scored three unearned runs in the eighth after shortstop Luis Sardinas booted Mark Reynolds’ grounder. Gonzalez had a two-run single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: Friedrich was hit near his left knee by a comebacker by LeMahieu in the third inning. After being checked by a trainer and manager Andy Green, he stayed in the game.

UP NEXT

Rockies: Chad Bettis (12-7, 4.88) is scheduled to start the finale of the four-game series. He’s coming off his first shutout. He lost his last time out at Petco Park, on June 4.

Padres: Edwin Jackson (4-5, 5.55) is scheduled to make his 10th start for the Padres. He struck out 11, the most by a Padres pitcher this season, in a 2-1 victory against Boston on Monday.

– By BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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