Big First Inning Gives Padres Road Victory over Rockies

Ha-Seong Kim scoring a run for the Padres against the Rockies
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Padres 5, Rockies 2

(Apr. 24) The San Diego Padres scored four runs in the top of the first, paving the way for a 5–2 win over the Colorado Rockies Wednesday night at Coors Field in Denver. Matt Waldron mixed his knuckleball effectively with the more standard pitches in his arsenal to limit the Rockies to one run on four hits across six innings. His only run allowed came in the bottom of the sixth, when Ryan McMahon crushed a 444-foot homer to dead center.

Rockies – Padres Game Summary

Left-hander Ty Blach took the hill for the Rockies as the starting pitcher, and the Padres gave him a rude welcome. Three of the first four batters reached base, two via the walk and one with a leadoff single. Ha-Seong Kim drove in two of the runners with a flared double near the line in shallow right field. A sacrifice fly by Jackson Merrill and single to center by Eguy Rosario completed the first-inning scoring for the Padres.

The score remained 4–0 until the top of the sixth. A bloop single to shallow left by Jurickson Profar, followed by a bunt single mixed with a throwing error from Rockies third baseman McMahon, put runners on second and third with one out. Merrill plated Profar with an RBI groundout to second, making the score 5–0 after the unearned run.

McMahon made it 5–1 with his one-out homer in the bottom of the sixth. A two-out homer off Padres reliever Wandy Peralta by Rockies catcher Elias Diaz made it 5–2 and completed the scoring.

What Went Right for the Rockies

Pitching after the First Inning

Blach gave up four runs in the first inning, but after that, he was terrific. Between the second and fifth, he allowed no runs on two hits and no walks. Relievers Victor Vodnik and Anthony Molina did well, combining to allow one unearned run on three hits across four innings, walking one and striking out one.

This was Molina’s second straight scoreless appearance, having also tossed three scoreless innings in Saturday’s 7–0 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Prior to Saturday’s appearance, Molina gave up runs in all three of his appearances: six runs in a third of an inning, five runs in three innings, and one run in one inning. Manager Bud Black chalked his improvement up to a “more consistent” delivery when speaking to reporters after the game. Black said of Molina, “The fastball is coming out better. There’s an uptick in the velocity,” also mentioning the improvement in Molina’s slider and changeup. Additionally, Black said Molina is more relaxed and not as tense, pointing out that nerves were to be expected, given that Molina is a Rule Five pick on a brand new team after never spending any time in the majors before.

Hit Homers

Brendan Rodgers’ grand slam Tuesday night snapped a six-game homerless streak for the Rockies. Wednesday night, the Rockies smacked two.

Throwing Out Basestealers

Elias Diaz threw out two very fast runners who were attempting to steal. In the seventh, he hosed Fernando Tatis Jr. for the third out of the frame. And in the eighth, Diaz gunned down Jackson Merrill at second — from his knees — for the first out of the inning.

What Went Wrong for the Rockies

Fell Behind Early

Wednesday was the 25th game of the season. The Rockies have scored first only three times and have trailed at some point in all 25 games. The only team in the modern era (since 1901) to trail in more consecutive games to start their season is the 1910 St. Louis Browns, who trailed in each of their first 28 games.

Lack of Hits

The Rockies only had five hits on the evening. Two were home runs, yes, but both were solo shots. Of the five, only two came with one or more runners on base, and that was an infield single with runners on first and second and one out in the fourth. That was also the only hit that came with runners in scoring position. Furthermore, only once did the Rockies get more than one hit in an inning. That came in the sixth, with the first hit being a solo homer and the second being a single to center with two outs and a runner on first.

Quick Hits

With the loss, the Rockies still have yet to win consecutive games in 2024. This is the longest stretch to start a season in franchise history. The longest single-season stretch was 35 games between May and June, 2022.

Center fielder Brenton Doyle (1-for-4) has hit safely in seven of his last eight games. Over that stretch, he is batting .357 (10-for-28).

Looking Ahead

Waldron (1–2) earned the win, with Blach (0–1) taking the loss.

The Rockies (6–19) and Padres (14–13) will play the final game of their four-game series Thursday afternoon. Rockies right-hander Dakota Hudson (0–4, 5.06 ERA) will start against Padres right-hander Randy Vasquez (0–1, 1.80 ERA). First pitch will be at 1:10 pm Mountain Daylight Time.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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