By Jay Paris, Associated Press
SAN DIEGO — The rebuilding San Diego Padres haven’t been pushovers of late. Not after knocking off three of the National League’s top teams.
Austin Hedges, Yangervis Solarte and Wil Myers homered, leading San Diego to an 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night for their season-high fifth straight win.
The Padres followed their sweep of the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs by beating the Rockies, who have a share of the NL West lead. This winning run, the Padres’ longest since 2015, stated with a road triumph over the Washington Nationals.
That’s quite an accomplishment for the Padres, who were among the majors’ worst clubs before their turnaround.
“I think in general you’re seeing more confidence from the young guys that they compete with anyone in this league,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “This last week we have seen the world champs, possibly the best team in the National League in Washington and now a first-place team in Colorado.”
Clayton Richard (4-6) allowed four runs — three earned — and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out three in winning for the second time in his last three outings. Brandon Maurer worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Richard leans on his slider to be effective. But as he struggled to command the pitch, he went almost exclusively to his fastball, which was in the mid-90s.
“Unfortunately with the game plan the sliders were good to a lot of the guys,” Richard said. “I did not make the adjustment quickly enough and fortunately our team came through. It’s very satisfying when your team picks you and does everything to win the game. It was a very good team win.”
German Marquez (4-3) went five innings, allowing six runs, eight hits and two walks for Colorado, which has lost four of five. He struck out nine as he failed to win his fifth consecutive start.
“The fastball command wasn’t quite there and they took advantage of it,” Marquez said through a translator.
Added Rockies manager Bud Black: “I think more than anything his pitches were elevated and they took advantage of it.”
The Padres took a 6-4 lead in the fifth on Solarte’s two-run homer. Allen Cordoba was on with a single before Solarte’s 437-foot shot, his third hit of the game.
Cordoba’s sacrifice fly in the seventh pushed the Padres ahead 7-4, but the Rockies got within two runs in the bottom half on Trevor Story’s RBI single. Colorado had the tying runs aboard when Brad Hand struck out Tony Wolters.
Myers notched the Padres’ final homer in the seventh, extending San Diego’s lead to 8-5.
“When Wil is relaxed at the plate he is as good as any hitter in the game,” Green said.
Hedges had tied the game at 4 with a two-run homer in the fourth, his 10th, which followed Franchy Cordero’s single that scored Ryan Schimpf. Cordero’s shot up the middle ricocheted off Marquez’s pitching hand. The right-hander said he was fine, but Hedges immediately crushed a 93 mph fastball.
RHP Jon Gray (fractured left foot) will pitch on the side on Saturday and possibly a simulated game on Tuesday. … RHP Chad Bettis (testicle cancer) will rejoin the team on Tuesday to begin building arm strength.