Arenado homers on 28th birthday, Rockies beat Padres 8-2

By BERNIE WILSON – Associated Press – Wednesday, April 17, 2019

SAN DIEGO (AP) – and the found their stride at sea level.

homered for the third straight game – a two-run shot on his 28th birthday – and pitched seven strong innings for the , who beat the 8-2 Tuesday night for a two-game sweep and their first three-game winning streak of the season.

(1-3) allowed a home run in an NL-record 16th straight game when connected leading off the fifth, but otherwise tamed the , who have lost three straight for the first time this season.

Rookie Garrett Hampson hit his first career-homer and Raimel Tapia had a two-run triple for the , whose bats came to life on the final three games of a six-game swing through San Francisco and San Diego. Prior to that, they had lost eight straight games.

Their eight runs were a season high.

“We lost the first three games and then we won the last three. To be able to say we split a road trip is not bad,” said. “Obviously you want to win them, but to split is not a bad feeling. Definitely we lost some tough games and it feels good to know we took care of business these last three.”

Said : “I wouldn’t say it’s like a night and day thing, but you can tell it’s gradually coming along. We never really got to a low point, which I’m proud about. That’s because we know what we have. I think a lot of that plays into that.”

hit his first homer of the season in Sunday’s 4-0 win at San Francisco and went deep again in Monday night’s 5-2 win against the .

His shot to straightaway center field off rookie left-hander Nick Margevicius (1-2) with one out provided the with their first first-inning runs this season. Their streak of 17 straight games without a run in the first inning was longest to begin a season in franchise history.

“We scored runs early. You always feel a little bit more comfortable when you score a couple runs early,” said. “I think it gives the pitcher a little more confidence, or calms him down in a way, maybe. It was a good win. We’re playing good baseball right now and we’ve got to keep it up.”

, a four-time All-Star, said birthday homers “are awesome. It felt really good. I just tried to have good at-bats. It was nice to come out with a win, a couple knocks, a homer, a couple RBIs. That was pretty cool.”

It was the 189th career homer, surpassing Troy Tulowitzki (188) for sixth place all-time in history.

Charlie Blackmon hit an RBI double in the second and Tapia a two-run triple in the third for a 5-0 lead.

Trevor Story had a career-high three stolen bases, including stealing second and then executing a double steal with Mark Reynolds ahead of Tapia’s triple.

Hampson hit a one-out homer to left in the seventh off Adam Warren. A fan threw the ball back onto the field and left fielder tossed it into foul territory, where a ball girl handed it to a fan despite third baseman Manny Machado trying to get her attention. The were able to retrieve the ball for Hampson.

Hampson made his big league debut last year and was on his first opening day roster this year.

improved to 9-3 lifetime against San Diego by holding the to one run and three hits while striking out five and walking three.

’s only big mistake was allowing ‘ homer to left leading off the fifth, his fifth.

“I just got a good pitch middle in and was able to put a good swing on it. I like being able to do that,” said.

The had only five hits.

“If there’s one thing not to worry about it’s this offense,” said. “We’ve got guys in here who are going to hit. We’ll definitely get going.”

Margevicius allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings, struck out seven and walked one.

“I think I made some pitches, didn’t make some pitches,” he said. “Up here’s that’s just going to happen. I’m going to have nights like this and it’s not all going to be good all the time. It’s something I’m going to learn from I’m sure.

“The one to was a fastball away,” he added. “It’s away but he crushes those pitches, so maybe that wasn’t the best pitch selection right there.”


: Colorado returns home to open a four-game series against Philadelphia on Thursday night, with LHP Kyle Freeland (1-3, 5.40) scheduled to make the start.

: Rookie RHP Chris Paddack (0-0, 1.29) seeks his first win Thursday night in the opener of a four-game home series against the Cincinnati Reds, who counter with RHP Tanner Roark (0-0, 4.30).


For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews/apf-Baseball and https:///AP_Sports

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