Rockies dispute call on Padres' winning hit

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- The Colorado Rockies believed an umpire's call cost them a win against the San Diego Padres.

   Jesus Guzman's walk-off single with one out in the ninth inning rallied the Padres to a 4-3 victory over the Rockies on Friday night at Petco Park. Guzman bounced a pitch near the third-base bag by Rockies reliever Rex Brothers with the bases loaded and one out that umpire CB Buckner ruled fair.

   The Rockies and manager Walt Weiss argued to no avail.

   "It was tough to tell where I was standing, but I'm going off my players' reaction," Weiss said. "The thing that made it tough (was) it landed well past the bag, so it's hard to tell when it is in the air going over the bag. I wanted to make sure he (Buckner) had a good look at it.

   "He kind of got turned around. And that's what I was asking. I wasn't sure he got a good look at it. And our guys thought it was foul."

   San Diego's Will Venable said with a straight face, "I thought it went over the bag."

   The Rockies briefly had the game in the bag when Todd Helton led off the ninth by driving the first pitch from San Diego closer Huston Street over the wall in center for his 13th home run of the season and a 3-2 lead. It ended Street's streak of 20 1/3 scoreless innings. Street (2-4) allowed a run and a hit in an inning.

   But the Padres came back. Chase Headley homered to open the inning, drilling a 2-0 pitch by Brothers into the second deck of the Western Metal Supply building in left to tie the score at 3.

   Brothers issued a walk to Kyle Blanks and allowed an infield single to Alexi Amarista. After a sacrifice by Ronny Cedeno, Brothers intentionally walked Nick Hundley to load the bases. Guzman followed with his winner.

   "I just tried to see the pitch," said Guzman, who produced his second walk-off hit of the season, the last one occurring May 31 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

   Brothers (2-1) allowed two runs and three hits in 1/3 of an inning.

   Colorado starter Juan Nicasio gave up a leadoff home run to Venable and a triple to Chris Denorfia before retiring the next 13 batters. He allowed consecutive singles to Cedeno and Hundley with one out in the fifth but induced Venable to ground into an inning-ending double play.

   In the sixth, Denorfia, who received a "Heart and Hustle Award" that recognizes the efforts of 30 major league players who demonstrate a strong passion for the game, tied the score with a hustle play.

   As Jedd Gyorko bounced a groundout to third baseman DJ LeMahieu, Denorfia raced around second and toward the uncovered bag at third, where Helton's throw sailed past catcher Wilin Rosario, who was attempting to cover for LeMahieu. Denorfia scored by avoiding Nicasio's tag at home with two outs in the inning and knotting the score at 2.

   Nicasio allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in six innings.

   San Diego's Burch Smith allowed two runs -- both in the first -- on four hits in five innings. He struck out seven and walked four.

   Colorado's Dexter Fowler left the game in the sixth inning. He reaggravated an injury to his left knee when he stole second in the fifth.

   Troy Tulowitzki put the Rockies on the board in the first inning with an RBI double off the center-field wall that scored Fowler, who led off the game with a double. LeMahieu scored on Michael Cuddyer's fielder's choice one out in the inning to make it 2-0.

   In the bottom of the first, Venable lined a 2-1 pitch from Nicasio into the seats in right for his 21st home run of the season. It was his 15th homer at Petco, breaking the season mark by former Padre Adrian Gonzalez.

   "Fastball right down the middle," Venable said.

   NOTES: Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez didn't start again. He was activated Sept. 3 from the disabled list but hasn't swung a bat in a game since his return, appearing as a late defensive replacement on Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday. Gonzalez has been nursing a sprained middle finger on his right hand. ... Rockies RHP Roy Oswalt was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Oswalt is expected to get some work in relief on Sunday, manager Walt Weiss said, before the Rockies determine when he will start a game. Oswalt had been on the disabled list since July 8 with a left hamstring strain. ... Colorado LHP Drew Pomeranz was activated Friday from the 15-day disabled list. Pomeranz had been out since July 23 with tendinitis in his left biceps.
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