Rockies get contributions from bench
Iannetta's RBI double puts Rockies in lead for good
SAN DIEGO -- There's a difference between a player trying to prove to everyone, including himself, that he can play in the Majors and just playing. The Rockies' Chris Iannetta is achieving the latter this season.
Iannetta's RBI double in the sixth inning gave his team the lead for good in a 10-2 victory over the Padres at PETCO Park on Wednesday night in front of 21,730. The deciding game of the three-game set is Thursday night.
Iannetta, one of three reserves making a start for a Rockies team in need of a lift, tapped a two-out pitch from Justin Germano down the right-field line. By the time Padres right fielder Brian Giles finally pulled the ball from under the bullpen bench, and behind a drink bottle, Garrett Atkins had scored from first base for a 3-2 lead.
It was the most important hit of the game before the Rockies blew it open with seven runs in the top of the ninth. For Iannetta, who struggled for much of last season as a rookie catcher, it's another indication that he's ready to contribute.
"Whatever I do, I know I can do it, as opposed to last year when I was wondering, 'Can I do this?'" Iannetta said. "The doubt isn't there anymore."
Iannetta has taken advantage of regular catcher Yorvit Torrealba's days off to the tune of 6-for-15 (.400) with two doubles and two RBIs. Iannetta went 3-for-4 Wednesday.
Add to it center fielder Ryan Spilborghs walking and scoring in the first inning and launching an RBI triple in the second, and second baseman Clint Barmes going 2-for-5 and snatching Tadahito Iguchi's two-out line drive behind the second-base bag to kill a third-inning rally, and it was a sparkling night for Rockies reserves.
Manager Clint Hurdle has talked often about using his full roster. That type of production from reserves gives Hurdle cause to tweak his lineup more often.
"When you can contribute when you're a part-time guy, it's a special feeling," Hurdle said. "You're coming in, more often than not, to give the other guy a rest. But we've got a better bench than that this year."
The Rockies entered the game next-to-last in the National League in batting average and last in runs -- far below what's expected of one of baseball's most talented offenses. By the time the 15-hit performance was done, they had improved their batting average 12 points. They surpassed the Padres in average and runs.
The score was 3-2 going into the top of the ninth, but the Rockies knocked six hits, including a Scott Podsednik pinch-hit RBI single, a Troy Tulowitzki two-run double, an Atkins RBI single, a Brad Hawpe run-scoring single and a Barmes two-run double.
Tulowtizki's hit ended an 0-for-20 slump and gave him his first RBIs of the season. Atkins, continuing an offensive surge, went 4-for-5 to bring his average to a team-leading .321.
Before the offensive spurt, left-hander and San Diego County native Mark Redman (2-1) kept the Rockies in good shape while earning his first victory in his hometown -- or anywhere against the Padres. Redman went five innings and gave up three hits, which included a third-inning double and fifth-inning triple by Giles. Both those hits drove in runs.
"It's nice to play here in front of our family and get a win for our team," said Redman. "We're even [in the series] right now. We just have to come out and continue what we did today, tomorrow."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.