SAN DIEGO -- Whatever flicker of hope the San Diego Padres had after scoring two runs in the fifth inning was quickly doused by Colorado right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
Jimenez bounced back from his only shaky inning to finish with 10 strikeouts, leading the Rockies to a 5-3 win over the Padres on Friday night.Jimenez was perfect in the sixth and seventh, and allowed only three hits in seven innings to win for the first time in a month."He's inches away, in my opinion, from being a very, very special pitcher," manager Jim Tracy said. "We're not there yet, but I would really, as we move forward, like this man to get to the point where the mindset is such with the stuff that he has, when you build a 5-1 lead, there is very little doubt as to where the game is headed."Jimenez knows what his manager means."I probably need to just learn to be able to shut the door," Jimenez said. "Like sometimes I get in trouble and I don't get out of it. I think once I learn to do that, close the door, I'll be able to do that."Jimenez (7-9) won for the first time in five starts. The right-hander reached double digits in strikeouts for the fifth time in his career and fell one short of his career best, which came against the Padres at Petco Park on May 10, 2008. He allowed all three Padres runs and walked four.After Ian Stewart's two-run double gave Colorado a 5-1 lead in the fifth, San Diego responded with two runs in the bottom half. Everth Cabrera hit an RBI triple and scored on Jimenez's wild pitch.Jimenez came back and struck out the side in the sixth. He might have come out if his spot in the order had come up in the seventh, but it didn't and he retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning."He was at his best, in my option, with all his pitches and command and everything else, in the sixth and seventh innings," Tracy said. "Those were his two best innings. He walked back out there after the sixth inning and we didn't get to his spot, and had probably as good an inning as he had all night in the seventh inning. That's something that you like to see."Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 24 chances.Clint Barmes homered for the second straight game for the Rockies, who are 29-9 since June 4. Ian Stewart hit a two-run double and made two nice plays at third base, and Chris Iannetta also had a two-run hit.The Padres are a major league-worst 11-29 since June 1.Barmes, who had a three-run homer in Colorado's 10-1 win Friday night, hit a solo shot to left field with one out in the first off Josh Geer. It was his 12th."It ticks me off a little bit," Geer said. "I'm trying to limit the home runs."He's allowed 23 homers, tied with Milwaukee's Braden Looper for the major league high, in only 92 2/3 innings.Iannetta made it 3-0 in the second with a bases-loaded bloop single to right with two outs. Stewart was thrown out trying to score from first to end the inning.Tony Gwynn Jr. had an RBI single in the third for the Padres.Geer (1-5) allowed five runs and seven hits in four-plus innings, walked four and struck out two."I was trying to pump it up a little bit," Geer said. "I wasn't too worried about command. I was trying to throw my pitches harder. I had more walks than I really wanted."
The Padres plan to call up their top prospect, RHP Mat Latos, from Double-A San Antonio to start Sunday's game against the Rockies. The 6-foot-5 Latos was an 11th-round draft pick in 2006. He was 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA in nine starts at Double-A, and 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA in four appearances, including two starts, at Class A Fort Wayne. ... RHP Josh Banks will be designated for assignment to make room for Latos. ... The Rockies are 31-13 since Tracy was promoted from bench coach on May 29 after manager Clint Hurdle was fired. ... Padres RHP Tim Stauffer is scheduled to pitch Monday night's game against Florida. ... San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez had his 20th multi-walk game of the season, tops in the majors. He's drawn 45 walks in the last 44 games. ... The Padres recalled OF outfielder Drew Macias from Triple-A Portland for the fourth time this season. Reliever Ryan Webb was optioned to the Beavers.