5 foot-7 inch shortstop Alexi Amarista’s first career home-run came in the San Diego Padres’ six-run ninth-inning come-from-behind victory in Houston Thursday night. Saturday Amarista added two more to his resume, a solo shot to center in the seventh, followed by a three-run job in the eighth, and the Padres dispatched the Colorado Rockies 8-4 in a contest that featured late-inning offense. A pitcher’s duel of sorts had broken-out earlier, with Colorado’s Christian Friedrich delivering a five inning, 1-run/5-hit effort and San Diego’s Edinson Volquez holding the Rockies to 2 runs on 3 hits and 6 walks in his six frames of labor.
Friedrich limited the Padres to Yasmani Grandal’s first career homer, a solo shot to center batting right-handed in the fourth. Grandal added a a two-run shot batting lefty in the sixth off Colorado’s “Gopher-Ball” Guthrie, who had come-on to “piggy-back” for Friedrich, who logged 74 pitches, 49 for strikes. Guthrie also surrendered Amarista’s solo shot in the seventh. With Adam Ottavino on for the Rockies in the eighth, Chase Headley singled, Carlos Quentin walked, and after Ottavino induced Grandal to bounce into a slick double-play by Colorado’s Marco Scutaro, Yonder Alphonso was intentionally walked to get to the struggling Cameron Maybin with runners on first and third. Maybin delivered a ground-single to right on a 2-strike pitch to score Headley. Amarista followed with his third career bomb.
The Rockies took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when rookie catcher Wilin Rosario led-off with a home-run to center and pinch-hitter Eric Young Jr walked and came-around on Grandal’s ill-advised wild-throw up the first-base line trying to nail Dexter Fowler, who had laid-down a near-perfect bunt. Fowler was caught seeking to move-up to third on Grandal’s error, when after rounding second he looked hard over his left shoulder at the action behind him, likely slowing himself just enough to come-up short on Headley’s tag. After Volquez hit Scutaro with a pitch Carlos Gonzelez grounded into a double-play, and what momentarily looked like a potential big inning for the Rockies fizzled-out. Colorado added two in the eighth when Gonzalez singled with one-out and Michael Cuddyer reached on a botched force play by the Padres. Gonzalez scored on a single by Jordan Pacheco, then Chris Nelson followed with a double that plated Cuddyer. Former Rockies closer Huston Street struck-out former teammates Jonathan Herrera and Fowler in the ninth, and got Scutaro on a grounder to short to close-out the non-save opportunity.
The division rivals will go at it again Sunday afternoon, each seeking a series win, as San Diego sends right-hander Kip Wells, making just his second start since 2009, up against a pitcher yet-to-be-named for Colorado, most likely current Colorado Springs lefty Drew Pomeranz, especially as Guthrie relieved on Saturday. The contest is scheduled for 1:10 pm at Coors Field, with TV back on Root Sports, radio KOA am 850.