DENVER (AP) -- Jay Payton has learned one valuable lesson about
hitting in Coors Field: There is a jet stream going directly toward
the bullpens in right-center field that keep balls from the
Payton rode the wind for a two-run double that keyed a four-run
rally against four relievers in the eighth inning, and the Colorado
Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 Saturday. "Mark Kotsay can run them down so I put it in the right spot,''
said Payton, who is hitting .370 with 26 RBI in 34 games since
being traded from the Mets to the Rockies. "I got it right up in
that little jet stream where it tailed away from Kotsay and he
couldn't catch up with it.'' The Rockies won their third in a row and sent San Diego to its
third straight loss. "I was glad to have a chance to redeem myself,'' Payton said.
"I misplayed a ball hit by Ryan Klesko earlier in the game and
then Bubba Trammell hit a home run.'' Trailing 2-1, Juan Pierre drew a leadoff walk from Brandon
Villafuerte to open the eighth inning. Pierre scored the tying run
on Larry Walker's double off Mike Holtz (2-2). "You can't make mistakes in this park like walking the leadoff
man and get away with it,'' San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said.
"You have to make Pierre hit his way on.'' After Holtz loaded the bases with a pair of walks, Payton
greeted Jonathan Johnson with a line-drive double into the gap in
right-center field. Greg Norton drew a bases-loaded walk from Mike Bynum for a 5-2
lead. "I wasn't hoping to win it in the ninth. Not with Trevor
Hoffman out there,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've
contributed a lot to his 349 saves.'' The Rockies got seven strong innings from Denny Stark, who gave
up two runs and four hits. He hasn't lost in his last five starts
dating to Aug. 11. Kent Mercker (2-0) worked a perfect eighth inning for the win.
Jose Jimenez gave up an unearned run and got his 37th save.
The Padres wasted an outstanding effort by Oliver Perez, who
limited the Rockies to two hits over the first seven innings. Perez struck out five, walked four and allowed only an unearned
run. He is winless in his last six starts despite giving up only 13
earned runs over 37 1/3 innings. "I was still feeling good when I came out,'' Perez said. "I
wasn't tired at all.'' Trammell hit his 17th homer and drove in three runs for the
Padres. The Rockies got an unearned run in the first when Jason Romano
drew a leadoff walk and scored on Wiki Gonzalez's passed ball. Stark didn't allow a Padres runner past first base until Ryan
Klesko doubled to open the fourth. Two outs later, Trammell
Both teams chose not to take batting practice. ... The
Padres have turned 16 more double plays (143) than they did all
last year. ... San Diego continued to give Perez limited support.
During his past six starts, the Padres have scored one or fewer
runs three times. Stark didn't get the decision, but is 7-1 with a
3.30 ERA in 10 starts at Coors Field. ... Jason Romano got his
first NL hit, a bunt single, in the eighth inning.