SAN DIEGO (The Sports Xchange) – When a team is 23-33 overall, five straight wins might not seem like a big thing.
But when the streak starts against the ballclub with the best record in the National League, includes a sweep of the reigning World Series champions, and continued Friday night by knocking Colorado out of a tie for the National League West lead, it is safe to say the San Diego Padres are on a bit of a roll.
“We’re playing good right now,” manager Andy Green said after the Padres defeated the Rockies 8-5 on Friday night at Petco Park.
“I felt good about the entire team effort. And we’ve been playing some really good clubs.”
Like the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies.
And it was a team effort Friday night.
Catcher Austin Hedges tied the score at 4 with a two-run homer in the fourth inning off Rockies starter German Marquez. Yangervis Solarte put the Padres ahead to stay with a two-run homer an inning later.
For good measure, Wil Myers added a solo homer later.
And rookie outfielder Allen Cordoba and Franchy Cordero had, respectively, three and two hits. Cordoba, a Rule 5 draftee last December, had a double and a triple with two RBIs. Cordero drove in a run and stole his first base in the major leagues.
For good measure, starting pitcher Clayton Richard (4-6) made a mid-game adjustment from sliders to fastballs and battled long enough to get credit for the win.
“Tonight was a struggle,” said Richard. “I had trouble throughout. But they picked me up. We’re on a roll right now and hopefully that pushes us forward. Winning helps.”
Before Friday night, the Padres last had a five-game winning streak in August 2015. The last time the Padres won six in a row was June 10-17, 2013, when Rockies boss Bud Black was managing the Padres.
Colorado had leads of 3-0 and 4-1 before the Padres battled back against Marquez.
“You usually feel pretty good about leading 4-1,” Black said. “But the Padres scored on some balls up, got back in the game and added on. Marquez’s fastball command was not where it needed to be all night. He got away with some fastballs with velocity the first time through the order.
“They didn’t really hit the curveball, but they hit the fastball when it wasn’t located. We saw it with Hedges. We saw it with Solarte.”
Marquez said, “The fastball command wasn’t quite there and they took advantage of it.”
The Padres are 8-3 in their last 11 games. The Rockies have lost six of their last nine.
The score was tied 4-4 before Solarte’s blast thanks to a two-run homer by Hedges in the bottom of the fourth.
Cordoba led off the fifth with a double. Solarte followed with a 437-foot drive into the seats in right-center against Marquez (4-3).
Solarte’s fourth homer of the season was his first since May 2. Solarte had three hits and is hitting .405 (15-for-37) since moving into the second slot in the Padres’ order.
Myers later hit his 12th homeroff left-hander Mike Dunn for the Padres’ final run in the seventh inning. Cordoba drove in San Diego’s seventh run an inning earlier with a sacrifice fly.
Richard allowed four runs (three earned), 10 hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings to get credit for the win. Brandon Maurer got his ninth save of the season, four of which have come in the past five games.
NOTES: The Padres’ run of 18 2/3 scoreless innings by their bullpen ended in the top of the seventh with Trevor Story’s bloop, two-out RBI single to right. … Rockies RHP Jon Gray, who has been on the disabled list since April 14 with a stress fracture in his left foot, is throwing on the side. … RHP Chad Bettis, who has been on the disabled list all season with testicular cancer, will join the Rockies when they return home next week while remaining on the disabled list.