Padres Extend Winning Streak

Make it five straight after 8-5 win over the Rockies

I wonder if the Padres know they’re messing up the tank.

The Friars beat the Rockies 8-5 in the first game of their 3-game weekend set at Petco Park. After a stretch of losing 14 of 18 games San Diego is on a 5-game winning streak and the teams they’ve beaten are not exactly slouches.

Colorado entered the night tied for first place in the National League West. The previous three wins came against the World Series champion Chicago Cubs and the game before that was a win in Washington against the Nationals, the team with the best record in the National League.

Friday night’s win was of the come-from-behind variety. Starter Clayton Richard went a shaky 5.2 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on 10 hits. The Padres fell behind 4-1 and with three rookies in the lineup against a quality ball club it looked like it had the potential to get out of hand.

But the kids came to play again. In the 4th inning rookie outfielder Franchy Cordero used his substantial speed to leg out an infield single and bring in Ryan Schimpf to cut the lead to 4-2. The next batter was Austin Hedges, who had himself a heck of a night.

Hedges smoked a 2-run home run to left off Rockies starter German Marquez to tie the game 4-4. The 24-year-old backstop leads all National League catchers with 10 home runs and 27 RBI and although it’s a longshot playing in San Diego, he might be putting himself in to the All-Star Game conversation.

In the 5th inning Yangervis Solarte continued his recent hot stretch with a homer of his own, another 2-run blast that scored Allen Cordoba (who singled, doubled and tripled) and put the Padres up 6-4. Solarte has 15 hits in his last 10 games, raising his batting average by 34 points in a week and a half.

Ryan Buchter allowed a run in the 7th inning to make it a 7-5 game, snapping a string of 18.2 scoreless innings from the Padres bullpen. Colorado put the go-ahead run at the plate in the form of San Diego native Tony Wolters but as he’s done all year Brad Hand came in to eliminate the threat. Hand punched out Wolters then whiffed two more in the 8th to lower his season earned run average to 1.69.

In the bottom half the Padres got just a little more breathing room when Wil Myers hit his 12th home run of the year, a solo shot to left field. Brandon Maurer worked a scoreless 9th inning to get his 9th save of the year.

The Padres can make it six in a row and win the series on Saturday afternoon when Jhoulys Chacin takes the mound against Tyler Chatwood in a rare 1:10 p.m. start at Petco Park.

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