Jimenez's woes result in loss to Padres
Right-hander walks five, allows six runs in just 3 2/3 innings
SAN DIEGO -- If there was that one random Rockies fan in attendance Saturday at PETCO Park who received an emergency phone call after the top of the fourth inning and had to leave, the fan probably would have felt fine about the way things were going.
The Rockies had a two-run lead and the young pitcher on the mound, Ubaldo Jimenez, hadn't given up a hit. It looked like the Rockies' seasonal push and their momentum from Friday night's blowout win would propel them to another victory.
But it wasn't to be. And that fan would have later seen that the Rockies fell to the Padres, 9-4.
The Rockies got back-to-back RBI singles to left by Clint Barmes and Willy Taveras in the second inning to score two, which held up until the fourth inning.
Jimenez gave up a double to center off the bat of Luis Rodriguez. One out later Adrian Gonzalez walked. Then Chase Headley walked. Will Venable brought home Rodriguez with an RBI single to center. Edgar Gonzalez hit into a fielder's choice that scored Adrian Gonzalez. Nick Hundley walked. With the bases loaded, Padres' starting pitcher Josh Geer, who wasn't pinch-hit for like many in the crowd would have preferred, walked on four pitches to score Headley.
Jimenez had only given up two hits, but three runs had crossed home plate. And he had to watch the rest of the game, including three more runs that would score under his name, from the dugout.
"Sometimes I put my arm a lot different," Jimenez said. "One time I threw the ball sidearm. I just couldn't find a rhythm."
Glendon Rusch came in to try his hand, but he wouldn't do much better. Brian Giles stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run single to right that plated Gonzalez and Hundley. Rodriguez came back up for the second time in the inning and singled, this time on a line drive to right to score Geer.
At the end of the fourth inning, the Padres held a 6-2 lead.
"Obviously, later in the game like that, you know it's going to be tough to put together some quality at-bats and just keep something going," Barmes said. "At that point, a home run is not going to do much good. You just try to put together a quality at-bat, that's really the best you can do."
Geer, pitching in his first Major League game, did an admirable job holding off the Rockies.
"You give him some credit," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We scratched two two-out hits to give us two runs, but after that we didn't get a hit until the ninth inning. That was six innings of no-hit baseball. He did the thing that pitchers want to do. He changed speeds and stayed out of the middle."
Geer allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts on 105 pitches in five innings of work.
"He's got really good arm action; it's pretty deceiving," Barmes said. "I think that's what made him effective tonight. His fastball, 85 to 86 [mph] or whatever, it doesn't look very hard on the screen. But when you're at the plate, with the way everything is flying around, it gets on you pretty quick. His off-speed stuff, he was effective with that as well, keeping guys kind of off-balance. He threw the ball well."
After the fourth, the Padres put up three more runs in the seventh off reliever Ryan Speier, with RBIs by Adrian Gonzalez, Venable and Edgar Gonzalez.
The Rockies put together two more runs in the ninth off a two-run triple to right-center by Barmes.
Now, it's back to business Sunday and the continual chase of National League West division leaders, the Diamondbacks and second-place Dodgers.
"We haven't done anything different all year," Barmes said. "We show up and battle. We haven't given up one game this whole year. I don't see that changing anytime soon. We'll battle until the end, and hopefully, it'll be interesting at the end."
Ronald P. Clark is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.