DENVER (AP) — Antonio Senzatela pitched six innings of one-run ball, designated hitter Matt Kemp homered for a second straight game and the Colorado Rockies held off the San Diego Padres for a 9-6 win on Sunday.
The Rockies moved to 6-2, which is tied for the team’s second-best start in franchise history. They began 7-1 in 1995.
A comfortable eight-run lead nearly evaporated for Colorado. The Padres scored four in the eighth and another in the ninth to make it 9-6. With two outs and a runner on second, the Rockies called in Jairo Diaz, who got Manny Machado to fly out on the first pitch for his first save of the season.
Senzatela (2-0) was the latest starter to turn in an efficient performance. Colorado’s starters rank first in the majors with a 2.00 ERA. The right-hander scattered four hits, walked one and struck out six to help the Rockies take two of three from San Diego.
“They’re setting a great tone,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of his starters. “They’re doing a fabulous job of first-pitch strikes, pitching ahead, working aggressively, pitch efficiency — all the things you look for. You want to ride it out.”
Kemp hit a two-run homer off Zach Davies (1-1) in the fourth. Kemp has 21 homers as an opponent at Coors Field and now two in the hitter-friendly park as a member of the Rockies. The 35-year-old slugger signed a minor league deal with the team on July 4.
Ryan McMahon and Daniel Murphy also went deep for Colorado. Murphy added three singles to tie a career high with four hits.
“Got some pitches to hit and didn’t miss them,” said Murphy, whose team has won three straight series. “We’re having good at-bats up and down the lineup.”
Davies allowed four hits and three runs over five innings. Both homers he surrendered were on changeups.
“It’s Coors Field. The ball flies pretty well,” Davies said. “At the same time everybody has to deal with those environments.”
Senzatela nearly wiggled out of a tough spot in his final inning. Jake Cronenworth started with a triple before Senzatela struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. and Trent Grisham. Senzatela thought he had a strikeout of Machado on a check swing, but it was ruled no swing. Machado followed with an RBI double to make it 3-1.
“Senza was great again today,” Murphy said.
With Colorado up 9-1 in the eighth, San Diego scored four times courtesy of an RBI single from Machado and a three-run triple by Wil Myers. The Padres have scored at least three runs in nine of their 10 games. They are 6-4 through 10 games.
“We could have been 7-3, 8-2. We know that,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler, whose team finished 3-3 on their trip. “But I think the main thing is we’re in an all right spot and we’ve got a lot of room to grow.”
Colorado star Nolan Arenado is still searching for his inaugural homer of the season after hitting 41 in 2019. He sent a fly to center that Grisham caught at the wall.
The Padres selected the contract of right-hander Jerad Eickhoff to the major league roster with first baseman Eric Hosmer going on the 10-day injured list due to gastritis.
Rockies: Right-handed reliever Scott Oberg may be out for the rest of the season after he developed blood clots in his arm for a third time in his career. He was switched to the 45-day injured list Sunday. Oberg was already out with a strained back. … Closer Wade Davis was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain.
Padres: Host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday to start a three-game series. The Padres went 6-13 against Los Angeles in 2019. RHP Chris Paddack (1-0, 1.64 ERA) goes for San Diego, and RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 4.91 ERA) is slated to start for the Dodgers.
Rockies: Begin a four-game series against San Francisco on Monday. The Rockies will throw RHP Chi Chi González, who got the nod over Jeff Hoffman.