SAN DIEGO — Another night, another offensive star for the San Diego Padres and another loss for the Colorado Rockies.
Hunter Renfroe doubled twice and hit a solo home run in the game’s first five frames then drew a walk ahead of Manuel Margot’s go-ahead two-run homer off Colorado reliever Jairo Diaz as the Padres posted their fourth consecutive decision over Colorado with an 8-5 decision.
It was the third career game with three extra-base hits for Renfroe, who also blasted three homers in a June 15 win at Coors Field. He scored four of San Diego’s eight runs on Saturday night, with Margot driving him in three times in a 3-for-4 effort.
For Colorado, a nightmare road trip continues. The Rockies have dropped the first five contests of this six-game swing through Houston and San Diego. Only Sunday’s matinee at Petco Park stands between the Rockies and a winless jaunt away from Coors Field.
“We’d get a run, they’d get a run,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of his team’s inability to once again get a lead and keep it. “Our starting pitching has not been able to really go back out there and put up a zero up after we score. That’s frustrating on our end on the pitching side for sure.”
Down 5-3 entering the seventh, Colorado rallied with catcher Chris Iannetta opening the inning with a double. Pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso followed by sending a 1-2 pitch from Padres reliever Craig Stammen just over the right-field wall to tie the game at five.
It was Alonso’s second career pinch-hit home run and his second for the Rockies since his contract was selected on July 23. It was also his 99th career home run.
“It was a tough at-bat. Coming in and trying to not think about driving the ball at all but just get Chris to third base,” Alonso said. “With two strikes, he was able to hang a curveball and I was able to get a good swing on it.”
With Alonso’s long ball, Colorado had rallied from a 5-2 hole that was created by San Diego’s three-run, fifth-inning outburst at the expense of Rockies starter Chi Chi Gonzalez.
Tied 2-2 heading into the fifth, Josh Naylor started the San Diego uprising with a one-out double. It marked the fourth consecutive plate appearance where Naylor had reached safely against the Rockies, following a home run on Friday night and two walks to open the game on Saturday.
Manny Machado followed with an RBI double to give the Padres a 3-2 lead and snap a personal 0-for-19 skid at the plate, which tied the longest hitless string of his career.
After Gonzalez got Eric Hosmer to ground out to second, Renfroe followed with an RBI double and Margot topped off the inning with an RBI single.
Gonzalez would finish the night by giving up five runs and eight hits in five innings. Both would represent season-highs for the 27-year-old right-hander.
“The outing tonight was not myself,” a frustrated Gonzalez said. “I left a lot of pitches up and the slider and curve, I maybe threw three good ones. I made a bunch of mistakes. I would fall behind and they would capitalize.”
Yonathan Daza and Raimel Tapia flashed their skills at the plate early and gave the Rockies an early advantage. In the second inning, the young duo combined to give Colorado its first lead since the first inning of Thursday’s series opener.
Tapia lined a two-out double to right-center and Daza followed with a single to center to plate Daza and log his first Major League RBI, staking the Rockies to a 1-0 advantage.
It didn’t take long for San Diego to answer, however. Renfroe opened the bottom of the second with a double and Margot followed with a single and moved to second on Charlie Blackmon’s overthrow. Luis Urias then grounded out to second to score Renfroe and tie the game.
Nolan Arenado gave the Rockies the 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth with his 26th home run of the season. Colorado’s All-Star third baseman turned on a 3-2 changeup from San Diego starter Chris Paddack and blasted it 399 feet into the second deck of the Western Metal Supply warehouse beyond the left field fence.
However, the Padres once again had a quick response to Colorado’s lead. Renfroe led off the bottom of the frame with his 31st homer of the year. The solo shot was the 300th hit and 200th RBI of his career and knotted the game at 2.
Arenado would add an RBI single on a misplayed two-out fly ball in the top of the sixth.