Series: Game 3 of 3

San Diego won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 13
San Diego6Final
Game 2: Tuesday, September 14
San Diego7Final
Game 3: Wednesday, September 15
San Diego6Final

Padres 6

(82-63, 40-31 away)

Rockies 9

(80-66, 51-24 home)

    3:10 PM ET, September 15, 2010

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    SD 001101030 6 7 0
    COL 10440000 - 9 16 1

    W: J. De La Rosa (8-4)

    L: C. Richard (12-8)

    S: H. Street (19)

    Troy Tulowitzki's two HRs, seven RBIs drive Rockies

    Associated Press

    DENVER -- Troy Tulowitzki is on such a September surge, he'll surely hate to see the calendar flip -- unless the Colorado Rockies are still playing deep into October.

    And if he stays this hot, they just might.

    Tulowitzki had his third multihomer game in a little more than a week and tied a career high with seven RBIs to help the Rockies beat the NL West-leading San Diego Padres 9-6 on Wednesday and avoid a series sweep.

    The smooth-fielding shortstop's 11 homers in September are just one shy of tying the franchise mark for any month -- and he still has half a month left to go.

    "The game's not that easy. I'm just hot right now," Tulowitzki said. "I'm continually trying to remind myself to enjoy this while it last. It's not going to last forever."

    The Padres saw their division lead shrink to a half-game over the second-place San Francisco Giants, who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1.

    Powered by Tulowitzki and Jorge De La Rosa, who gave Colorado's beleaguered bullpen a break by pitching into the eighth, the Rockies climbed within 2½ games of San Diego. They also closed within 2½ games of the Atlanta Braves in the wild-card race.

    As locked in as Tulowitzki has been lately, Rockies manager Jim Tracy figured he would lead the team out of its two-game mini-funk.

    "This is as competitive of player as I've ever seen," Tracy said. "You could tell from that first at-bat that he wasn't going to let us lose."

    Adrian Gonzalez nearly matched Tulowitzki's offensive production. The first baseman hit two homers to run his season total to 29, including a three-run shot in the eighth that wiped out half of a 9-3 deficit. He finished with five RBIs.

    De La Rosa (8-4) yielded five runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings.

    Colorado starters have been awful of late, overtaxing the bullpen. That cost them dearly Tuesday night when Edgmer Escalona's failure to cover first base on a grounder to Todd Helton in the ninth inning led to the decisive run in a 7-6 loss.

    "He stepped up and gave us exactly what we needed," Tracy said of De La Rosa.

    Colorado won the final game of a three-game series -- not exactly what the team had in mind when the slumping Padres arrived at Coors Field on Monday. The Rockies were riding a 10-game winning streak and had designs on overtaking the Padres.

    "It goes without saying -- we needed that game. We simply need that game," Tracy said.

    NL MVP candidate Carlos Gonzalez finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, increasing his NL leads in batting average (.341) and RBIs (106).

    Tulowitzki is making a late MVP push, as well, despite missing 33 games with a broken wrist. He went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .325, second to Carlos Gonzalez.

    "Between him and Carlos Gonzalez it's hard to find a couple of guys that are hitting the ball as well as they are," said Padres pitcher Clayton Richard (12-8), who allowed a season-high eight runs and 11 hits in three innings.

    In the eighth inning, the Padres had to pick their poison and elected to walk Carlos Gonzalez with a runner on second and face Tulowitzki. The strategy worked when Ernesto Frieri retired Tulowitzki on a hard lineout to left.

    Pitch to a player with seven RBIs, though?

    "Pretty crazy," Carlos Gonzalez said, grinning. "I'm not sure about that one."

    Tulowitzki understood the rationale -- a right-hander coming in to face a righty. It wasn't an insult.

    "They're playing the odds," Tulowitzki said. "At the same time, I put a good swing on that. That will stay in their minds."

    Richard gave up a three-run homer to Tulowitzki in the third. An inning later, Richard was pulled with the slugger stepping into the batter's box, and Edward Mujica gave up Tulowitzki's second three-run drive.

    "He was on everything. He's been swinging the bat great for them, and today, boy was he locked in," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He was on fastballs, curveballs, sliders, changeups. He had some terrific swings."

    Game notes

    Tracy said before the game that, depending on circumstances, he wouldn't be opposed to using 18-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez on short rest down the stretch. ... The Rockies are 20-6 at home since July 29. ... Rockies infielder Clint Barmes replaced Eric Young Jr. at second in the sixth inning after the young player made his third error in two games. ... Padres shortstop Miguel Tejada went 7-for-12 with five RBIs in the series. He also scored five runs. ... Padres catcher Yorvit Torrealba hit a solo homer against his former team.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumCoors Field, Denver, CO
    Attendance30,218 (60% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:56
    Weather82 degrees, sunny
    Wind4 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Mark Carlson, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Jeff Nelson

    Research Notes

    Troy Tulowitzki (COL): 3-5, 2 HR, 7 RBI Tulowitzki continued his torrid September by hitting two 3-run homers in the Rockies' 9-6 win over the Padres. His 7 RBI tied his career-high for a game (Aug. 10, 2009). As usual, he did his damage against the fastball. Of the 16 pitches he saw Wednesday, 5 were fastballs. All 3 of his hits came vs the heater and the shortstop was 0-2 against other pitches. In the month of September, Tulo is hitting .500 against the fastball with 7 home runs.
    One more note on Troy Tulowitzki's big day. In the live-ball era, 3 shortstops have had a 2+ HR, 7+ RBI game from the cleanup spot-- Ernie Banks, 1955 Cubs, Nomar Garciaparra, 1999 Red Sox and Tulowitzki.
    From Elias: Troy Tulowitzki: 2nd player in MLB history with MORE THAN 10 HR and MORE THAN 25 RBI in ANY 14 games of September/October. He's currently at 11 HR, 27 RBI Hank Greenberg did it- 1940 (12, 31)
    From Elias: Troy Tulowitzki: 11 HR in first 15 games in September. Ryan Howard is the last player to hit 11 HR in any 15-game span (did so in 2009). Tulowitzki's tied with Ralph Kiner (1949) for most HR hit in his first 15 games in September. He also has 27 RBI in his first 15 September games, one shy of the record set by Ted Kluszewski, 1954 Reds.

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