DENVER (AP) – Jon Gray thought a complete-game performance was reason enough to celebrate. Little did he know he’d also etched his name into the Colorado Rockies’ record book.
Gray struck out a franchise-record 16 and pitched a four-hitter to lead the Rockies to an 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Gray (10-8) threw 113 pitches in surpassing Darryl Kile’s 14-strikeout performance on Aug. 20, 1998. He was told in a postgame interview of the feat.
“I didn’t know that,” Gray said. “I just thought I threw a complete game. I was really pumped about it.”
Tom Murphy homered twice and had five RBIs. Nolan Arenado added his NL-leading 38th home run.
PHOTO GALLERY: Gray Strikes Out Rockies-Record 16
Colorado has won the first two games in the three-game series, which included an 8-7 walk-off win on Friday night.
Gray was certainly the star in this latest victory.
“You can’t overshadow that,” Murphy said. “I think you could have had six home runs tonight and it would’ve been overshadowed.”
Edwin Jackson (4-6) gave up 10 hits and eight runs in 4 1/3 innings. The Padres did not put a runner in scoring position.
Gray struck out four batters in the second inning, including a strikeout on a passed ball. He tied Bruce Ruffin (July 25, 1996) as the only other Colorado pitcher to accomplish the feat.
The hard-throwing 24-year-old then fanned two more in the third for his sixth strikeout in a row, the franchise’s most in a single game. He had 14 Ks after seven and tacked on two more in the ninth for the team record.
“He was really tough to hit tonight,” San Diego first baseman Wil Myers said. “Great slider, and I think his fastball made his slider better tonight with how well he commanded both sides of the plate. It’s the best I’ve seen him throw.”
The Rockies took control early when Arenado hit a two-run homer that hit the left-field concourse with two outs in the first. David Dahl then kept the inning going with a double and Murphy homered to give Colorado a 4-0 lead.
Later, Charlie Blackmon hit an RBI triple in the fourth and Murphy hit a three-run shot in the fifth for his first multihomer game of his career.
“It was just one of those games where we were dominated,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “The mistakes Edwin Jackson made today, he paid for. Every pitch was hit when he missed a spot. He just left them over the middle and they made him pay.”
DJ LeMahieu singled and reached base twice to extend his on-base streak to 33 games. His .349 batting average is one point ahead of Washington’s Daniel Murphy for the lead in the NL batting race.
The Padres announced that 3B Yangervis Solarte’s wife, Yuliett, died Saturday due to complications from her fight against cancer.
Solarte thanked people on Twitter for their support late Saturday night. Solarte had missed the last two games for San Diego.
RHP Jarred Cosart (right hamstring injury and groin strain) will start on Sunday for the Padres after he was pulled from his last start in the fourth inning.
“His leg is fine and we are going to proceed with the rotation,” Green said.
Green also said that RHP Tyson Ross (shoulder) is not expected to return this season. … C Derek Norris left the game in the fifth with a sprained left middle finger. Green said X-rays were negative.
The final meeting of the year between the NL West foes will match Cosart and RHP Chad Bettis. Cosart (0-3, 5.16 ERA) allowed 10 runs in 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts. Bettis (12-7, 4.78), meanwhile, is 8-2 with a 3.99 ERA since June 15.
– By BRENT W. NEW, AP Sports Writer
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