Two-run first all Padres need to beat Rockies
SAN DIEGO — Padres starter James Shields held down a hot Rockies offense by forcing three key double-play grounders over six solid innings to make a two-run first inning stand in a 2-1 victory at Petco Park on Monday night.
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Matt Kemp’s two-run double in the first was all the Padres could manage against Rockies rookie Jon Gray Jerseys, who proceeded to strike out a career-high 11 in six innings. He gave up four hits and walked one, but Shields stayed a step ahead.
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Shields used his changeup against left-handed batters on all three of the double-play grounders — from Carlos Gonzalez to end the first, Ben Paulsen to end the second and Gerardo Parra Jerseys in the fourth. Shields struck out five and pitched around nine hits — with help from one key baserunning mistake.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Element of unpleasant surprise: In the fifth with runners at first and second, a 2-0 count and Gonzalez up against Shields (a guy against whom he had a .360 batting average going into Monday), the last thing on anyone’s mind was DJ LeMahieu Jerseys trying to steal third wholesale mlb jerseys. But LeMahieu took off and Padres catcher Derek Norris — with a clear throwing lane because Gonzalez is a left-handed hitter — easily made the throw to end the threat.
Getting mad, then getting ahead: In three starts since being activated from an abdominal strain, Gray has yielded eight first-inning runs. But his first start, a 10-strikeout, no-decision against the Dodgers, and Monday’s showed that he dials in after early trouble. After Kemp’s two-run double, the right-hander touched 97 mph during a walk to Brett Wallace. But for the rest of his outing, he reached 97 when he needed, and the Padres struggled to make contact.
Rally strikes out: Rockies pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn Jerseys drew a one-out walk in the seventh, allowing the tying run to reach base with the top of the order coming up. But reliever Ryan Buchter fanned Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story to maintain the Padres’ 2-1 lead .
Two in one: The Padres scored twice in the first to take a 2-0 advantage when Kemp doubled down the third-base line after Jon Jay and Wil Myers opened the inning with singles cheap mlb jerseys. Gray walked Wallace, but he wiggled from the jam by striking out Alexei Ramirez Jerseys and Norris and getting Jemile Weeks to fly out.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. Jay Paris is a contributor for MLB.com based in San Diego and covered the Padres on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.