DENVER (AP) – Antonio Senzatela knows exactly what he’s going to do with the baseball from his first major league win – place it on his mother’s grave in Venezuela.
“A gift to my mom,” said Senzatela, who lost his mother to cancer last July.
Senzatela allowed a leadoff homer and then settled down to throw seven sharp innings and help the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 on Tuesday night.
“He’s got a good heartbeat. His pulse is good. He competes,” manager Bud Black said. “He’s focused and always in a pretty good space.”
The 22-year-old who missed a majority of last season in the minor leagues with shoulder issues relied on a blazing fastball that made things difficult for the Padres. He allowed five hits and two runs while striking out five. The Rockies’ reliable bullpen took it from there, with Adam Ottavino striking out the side in the eighth and Greg Holland working his way around a leadoff walk in the ninth to earn his fifth save.
Just like they drew it up.
“Senza did a heck of a job today. Very impressive,” Holland said. “He seems a lot older than he actually is when it comes to maturity level. I’m glad we held that down for him.”
Senzatela found some trouble in the seventh, putting two runners on with two outs. Black paid a quick visit to him, but showed faith by leaving him in the game. Senzatela got pinch-hitter Luis Sardinas to ground out.
“He told me, `Hey, let’s go. Ground ball right here,'” Senzatela recounted.
He did just that.
“We had a lot of trouble laying off the high fastball,” Padres manager Andy Green explained. “Swung through quite a few of those.”
As for the offense, the Rockies were bolstered by three solo homers – with Nolan Arenado’s shot to right off reliever Miguel Diaz (1-1) in the seventh putting them ahead for good. Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon also hit solo shots to help Colorado knot the three-game series with San Diego at a game apiece. The Rockies have a chance to win their third straight series to start the season, a feat only accomplished in team history by the 1995 squad.
A night after hitting for the cycle, Wil Myers finished 1 for 3 with a triple and an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Manuel Margot led off the game with a homer.
Jered Weaver started at Coors Field for the first time in his career, allowing two runs over six innings during the no-decision. He kept the Rockies off balance by mixing 77-mph sliders with 82-mph changeups and the occasional fastball that hit around 85 mph. His only mistakes came on a fastball that Gonzalez hit out in the fourth and a hanging slider to Blackmon in the sixth.
“Obviously, a couple of bad pitches cost me,” Weaver said.
Padres: Green said RHP Trevor Cahill (back) threw from 90 feet. “Assuming he keeps feeling better, we’ll keep ratcheting up the pace for him” Green said. Cahill, who was put on the DL retroactive to April 6, could make his next scheduled start.
Rockies: C Tom Murphy had a scan on his broken right forearm Tuesday. The Rockies are still waiting for the results. … OF David Dahl (ribs) is playing catch, throwing and running. “Anything rotational is not happening. So swinging, not happening,” Black said.
Black applauded the career of basketball coach Steve Fisher, who retired from San Diego State this week after going 386-209 with the Aztecs. Black pitched for the Aztecs and was inducted into the San Diego State Hall of Fame in 1992.
“What a bonanza for our university to have Steve,” Black said.
A CUT ABOVE
Right-hander Jon Gray trimmed eight inches off his flowing locks and donated them to a charity Tuesday.
“It will be back before we know it,” Gray said. “We’ll find another way to be intimidating.”
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (0-0, 8.44 ERA) is dealing with shoulder inflammation and could go on the disabled list Wednesday. The Padres may either start righty Zach Lee or possibly call up righty Jake Esch Double-A San Antonio.
Rockies: Denver native Kyle Freeland (1-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second start at Coors Field. The lefty pitched six innings and allowed one run in the home opener last Friday.
– By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)