DENVER (AP) -- As San Diego's trainer made his way to the mound
in the sixth inning, almost everyone in the stadium thought Ismael
Valdez was hurt.
Nope. He was just trying to catch his breath in the Mile High
City's thin air.
Not known for his hitting, Valdez wasn't used to all the running
that goes with a 3-for-3 night. And it showed. He was lightheaded
by the time he reached second on his double in the sixth inning and
it didn't get any better when he reached the mound in the bottom
"It's tough to breathe here," said Valdez, 2-for-29 before
Monday. "When the trainer came out it was more to get some time to
make sure everything was fine. I had to have time to catch my
San Diego's offense gave him just that.
Mark Loretta had four hits and three RBI, Terrence Long homered
and had two RBI, and the Padres had 18 hits -- every starter had at
least one -- to win for the fourth time in five games since a
four-game losing streak.
And it keeps getting better for the Padres. Earlier Monday, San
Diego acquired Rich Aurilia from the Seattle Mariners for a player
to be named or cash. Aurilia, a former All-Star, will back up
rookie shortstop Khalil Greene.
"We've been waiting to hit like this all year," said Loretta,
who finished 4-for-6. "We felt offense was going to be our
strength and it has been our pitching carrying us. If we can get
hitting like this to combine with pitching, we are going to be
The right-hander showed signs of coming around in his last two
starts, but never gave the Rockies much of a chance in this one and
was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.
"It's been bothering me the past couple of starts, but I don't
know that it's had an impact," Stark said.
Stark gave up three runs in the first, four in the third and
didn't come out for the fourth after allowing eight runs on 10
hits. It was the third time in six starts he's allowed seven or
more runs, raising his ERA to 11.42.
"He did not give us a good shot at winning the ballgame
tonight," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
Valdez (9-5) didn't have his best stuff, particularly after his
sixth-inning double, but he pitched just well enough for his third
The right-hander allowed five runs and nine hits -- three homers
-- in 5 2-3 innings, which was plenty good enough the way the Padres
After getting just five hits against Roger Clemens in a 5-3 loss
to Houston on Sunday, San Diego nearly matched that total in the
first inning and doubled it by the third to take an 8-2 lead.
The Padres scored three runs in the first inning on Ryan
Klesko's RBI single, Long's run-scoring double and a sacrifice by
Jay Payton. Loretta made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the second
Walker and Burnitz hit solo homers three pitches apart to put a
dent in the lead in the bottom half, but the Padres kept pounding
away at Stark.
Long led off the third inning with his second homer of the year,
then Miguel Ojeda scored when center fielder Preston Wilson was
charged with an error after bobbling Valdez's single. Burroughs
followed with an RBI double and Loretta made it 8-2 with his third
hit, a run-scoring single to left.
San Diego's lead went to 9-2 in the fourth inning on Loretta's
hard RBI single off Travis Driskill.
The Padres got three more in the sixth off Allan Simpson on
Ojeda's RBI single and Valdez's two-run double over Wilson's head
"We're swinging well," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "This
is a ballpark there's no safe lead. We came out swinging and had
some big hits."
Colorado scored three runs in the sixth on Vinny Castilla's
run-scoring double and a two-run homer by Burnitz, his third in two
games and 21st overall. That chased Valdez, but it only cut the
lead to 12-5.
"They were still into the game, but it's very taxing," Burnitz
said. "We had a couple of opportunities here and there, and we
scored six runs and had a dozen hits. It is what it is."
Bochy said 1B Phil Nevin (knee) will likely come off the DL
Wednesday instead of Tuesday, as the team originally planned. ...
Wilson turned 30 Monday. ... Driskill allowed a run and three hits
in two innings in his Colorado debut.