DENVER (AP) — Rookie Alan Trejo singled in the winning run in the 10th inning, highly touted prospect Ezequiel Tovar picked up hits on the first two pitches he saw in the big leagues, and the youthful Colorado Rockies stalled the San Diego Padres’ playoff progress with a 4-3 victory on Friday night.
Randal Grichuk homered and Yonathan Daza added a two-run triple for the last-place Rockies, who started six rookies, including an all-rookie infield.
“We’re fiery and we’re energetic and we just want to come up here and produce,” Trejo said.
Colorado improved to 7-1 against the Padres at Coors Field and has won 14 of the past 15 meetings in Denver over the past two seasons.
“We have a tough time scoring runs here for some reason,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “Hopefully that ends (Saturday).”
Melvin used closer Josh Hader in the ninth and said he didn’t consider using him for a second inning. Adrian Morejon (4-1) took over and walked Charlie Blackmon intentionally to put two on with one out. Trejo then pulled a 94 mph pitch to left that scored automatic runner Garrett Hampson easily and Colorado snapped a four-game skid.
Juan Soto tied it with a solo home run in the eighth. Soto added an RBI groundout and Manny Machado had an RBI single for San Diego, which fell a half-game behind Philadelphia for the second NL wild card. The Padres’ lead over Milwaukee for the final wild card was sliced to two games.
Daniel Bard (6-4) worked around a walk in the ninth, then got Soto to ground out with a runner on third to end the 10th.
Soto’s 26th homer to straightaway center off Carlos Estévez traveled an estimated 440 feet, but the Padres have lost two straight after winning five in a row.
The 21-year-old Tovar’s call-up a day earlier provided the most excitement for the Rockies in weeks.
“When he came (Thursday) into the clubhouse, I just sensed that his confidence was such that he’s ready for this.” manager Bud Black said.
Tovar singled up the middle on the first pitch he saw and singled again to left on the second pitch he faced. The 21-year-old Venezuelan went 2 for 4 and Colorado hopes he follows Troy Tulowitzki and Trevor Story in becoming the franchise’s next star shortstop.
Tovar said through an interpreter he didn’t realize until he got to the dugout that he was 2 for 2 on two pitches.
“But that’s part of my game,” he said. “Being aggressive and being ready to swing at the first pitch.”
Steven Wilson made sure Tovar wouldn’t go 3 for 3 on three pitches, bouncing a breaking ball into the left-handed batter’s box in the sixth.
Tovar couldn’t come up with José Azocar’s grounder up the middle in the third that bounced off his glove for a single and the Padres went up 2-0 in the inning.
Rookie Ryan Feltner was sharp outside that, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings.
The Rockies, who had scored one run in the past two games, got on the board when Grichuk sent Sean Manaea’s first pitch of the third into the left-field seats. Colorado went up 3-2 when Daza tripled to center with two outs in the fourth, chasing Manaea.
The left-hander allowed three runs, six hits and three walks.
“The (velocity) wasn’t there, then it was there for a little bit and then it wasn’t,” Melvin said. “I think when we took him out it was in the high 80s (mph).”
Melvin changed his mind after drawing up the initial lineup and replaced Austin Nola with Jared Alfaro at catcher. Nola wasn’t hurt and entered in the seventh.
Padres: Melvin has been impressed with RHP Pierce Johnson, who hasn’t allowed a hit in four appearances since coming off the injured list. “I think our bullpen is getting better and a little bit deeper,” he said.
Rockies: 1B C.J. Cron (bruised left hand) missed his second straight game after getting hit by a pitch. “He’s still sore,” Black said.
Padres RHP Yu Darvish (15-7, 3.05 ERA), who hasn’t allowed a run in three of his past four outings and has won his past five starts, faces struggling Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (6-9, 5.48 ERA) on Saturday night.
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