Denver, CO – Nolan Arenado crushed the game-winning homer in the ninth inning to lift the Colorado Rockies past the San Diego Padres, 10-9, in the second test of a four-game set at Coors Field.
The Padres rallied for five runs in the seventh inning and had a chance to add more with the bases loaded and two outs. Carlos Quentin ripped a hard-hit grounder down the third-base line, but Arenado made a spectacular stab, turned and fired a strike to catch Quentin at first to get out of the jam.
"Defense is a big part of my game," Arenado said. "A lot of people didn't think I could play defense. It's funny, I've been showing more of my defense than my bat lately."
After Matt Belisle (4-2) retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings, Arenado crushed a 1-1 fastball over the wall in left field for the game winner.
Arenado finished the game 2-for-5 with two RBI and Todd Helton added three hits and three RBI for the Rockies, winners in five of their last seven games.
Carlos Gonzalez had two triples and three RBI before exiting the game before the seventh inning after suffering an apparent ankle injury while batting in the sixth.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez lasted just 2 1/3 innings after giving up nine runs on 11 hits. It was his shortest outing of the season.
Joe Thatcher (2-1) was pegged with the loss after giving up the game-winner.
"It was a fastball," Thatcher said. "Tried to get it to the outer half. It backed up. He (Arenado) didn't miss it."
Quentin and Kyle Blanks each went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI and Jedd Gyorko had four hits, including a solo shot for the Padres, losers in four of their last six games.
The Rockies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Eric Young reached on a fielder's choice and Gonzalez walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Troy Tulowitzki followed with a line drive single to center before Helton clobbered a two-run double off the wall in right field to give the hosts an early three-run edge.
Blanks' two-run homer made it 3-2, but Colorado added five more in the second to take a six-run lead. Gonzalez crushed a two-run triple before scoring on a Helton base hit. Arenado's base hit scored Tulowitzki and Yorvit Torrealba scored Helton with an infield single to cap the scoring.
Quentin singled come Everth Cabrera in the third, but Gonzalez ripped an RBI triple in the bottom half to give the Rockies a 9-3 lead.
Blanks' RBI single in the fifth scored Quentin to pull the Padres within 9-4.
Quentin and Gyorko hit back-to-back homers in the seventh to make it 9-7. Chase Headley was hit by a pitch to open the frame and Quentin followed with a towering fly to left field. Gyorko then smashed his eighth four-bagger to nearly the same spot.
Blanks doubled then scored on a Cameron Maybin single to center and Cabrera capped the inning with an infield single to DJ LeMahieu to score Maybin.
Colorado was 6-for-16 with runners in scoring position ... Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa gave up four runs on 11 hits over five frames ... San Diego was 4-for-11 with RISP and left 10 runners on base.