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Hensley bounces back to lead Pads past Rockies

DENVER (AP) -- Clay Hensley went away from his strongest pitch
just enough to hold down the Colorado Rockies.

Hensley scattered seven hits over seven innings and catcher Josh Bard drove in two runs to help the San Diego Padres beat the
Rockies 5-2 Saturday night.

"He sometimes gets locked into sinker, sinker, sinker," Bard
said. "He did a good job throwing his slider. You've got to go
with the flow."

Hensley (8-10) struck out the side in his last inning on the
mound, but felt a twinge in his shoulder. The Padres then erred on
the side of caution and turned the game over to the bullpen.

Smart move.

Cla Meredith worked a scoreless eighth and now has gone 20 2/3
innings without giving up a run to tie the Padres' record for a
rookie set by Jose Melendez in 1991.

Scott Linebrink allowed Luis Gonzalez's RBI single in the ninth
before Trevor Hoffman got one out for his 34th save in 38 chances.
It also was his 470th career save, leaving him eight away from
tying Lee Smith's career record.

"[Clay] had done his job and we were fresh in the bullpen,"
manager Bruce Bochy said. "What a job he did."

Hensley could've self-destructed after the first inning. He gave
up three straight singles to begin the game and has been prone to
big innings.

"I've been trying to do too much," Hensley said. "I was
looking to give them a run and get a double play."

Kaz Matsui scored when Matt Holliday grounded a Hensley slider
into a double play and Brad Hawpe bounced out, ending the threat.
The run ended Hensley's streak of 14 scoreless innings but he
managed to limit the damage in the first.

"That's the difference in the game," said Bochy, whose team
came into the game one behind Los Angeles in the NL West race.
"He's a confident kid."

Hensley lingered in the trainer's room after the game. He's got
bicep tendinitis and a strained buttock, but said he felt fine. He
got his first road win since May 14.

Jason Jennings (7-11) allowed five runs and five hits in five
innings for the Rockies, who have scored two runs or less in his
last five starts.

"We didn't score for him," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Until Saturday, the Padres hadn't had much success against
Jennings. They had scored four runs off him in 22 innings spanning
three previous starts this season.

But San Diego scored three times in the first. Todd Walker,
Adrian Gonzalez and Bard all had RBI singles.

"It usually takes me a little bit to get into a rhythm of the
game," Jennings said. "The way it started I really never got a
chance to establish a game plan or get into any kind of rhythm."

San Diego took a 4-1 lead in the fourth when Mike Cameron led
off with a double and Josh Barfield singled him in. San Diego ran
itself out of a potentially bigger inning when Manny Alexander
flied out to Hawpe and Barfield was caught wandering too far off
first. It was Hawpe's 14th assist of the season, which is second in
the NL behind Alfonso Soriano.

Barfield thought he had a two-out grand slam in the fifth when
he smashed a ball to left field. Holliday hit the wall and fell to
the ground and Barfield went into his home run trot. When Barfield
got to third, Holliday got up, showed the ump the ball and tossed
it into the stands.

While Holliday had a solid day in the field -- he made another
catch up against the wall -- his night at the plate was forgettable.
He hit into a pair of double plays.

Colorado has lost 14 of its last 20 games.

"We still have guys trying to work through some things and
improve in some area," Hurdle said. "We can't turn our backs on
them."

Game notes
San Diego INF Geoff Blum was a late scratch from the lineup
after his chest felt tight following batting practice. ...
Colorado's Kaz Matsui had three more hits Saturday and is 7-for-13
since being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs last Tuesday.
... Colorado's Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton each had two hits.