DENVER (AP) - The San Diego Padres were forced to use a substitute starter for the second straight game. They couldn't duplicate success, however, and lost 6-3 to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Anthony Bass made his major league debut Monday against the Rockies, gave up one run in five innings and won 3-1.
Left-hander Wade LeBlanc (0-2) was nowhere near as sharp Tuesday. He threw 94 pitches in 4 2-3 innings and allowed seven hits and three runs. Not an outing bad enough to put his team in a deep hole, but not good enough given the Padres' offensive woes.
``(It) wasn't a good start by any means,' LeBlanc said. ``Any time I can't get through five innings, I look at it as kind of a letdown. I guess the positive to take out of it is when I left the game, we were only down by one.'
The Rockies were leading 3-2 when LeBlanc left, done in by a 40-pitch fourth when the first five batters reached base, and the Rockies scored three runs. Troy Tulowitzki doubled home the first run, and singles by Ty Wigginton and Charlie Blackmon brought in the final two.
LeBlanc gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Gonzalez in the fifth but started a double play on a ball Chris Nelson hit back to him. After Todd Helton singled, Padres manager Bud Black ended LeBlanc's outing.
The Padres struck out 14 times, left 11 runners on base and went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position. Chris Denorfia led off the game with a home run, just the 38th for the Padres, who are last in the National League in that category.
Jason Bartlett was hit in the chest with a 1-2 pitch from Juan Nicasio (2-1). Bartlett stole second and third but did so as Nicasio was striking out Chase Headley, Ryan Ludwick and Anthony Rizzo, serving notice as he carved up the middle of their lineup that the Padres would face their usual offensive challenge.
``We have to capitalize on those opportunities to get the guy in with less than two outs with a guy on third,' Black said. ``We have to move the guy over from second and get him over to third. And in the big picture this season, we haven't done that enough. And that's resulted in our run production being down. Our situational hitting has not been good.'
The Padres scored a run in the fourth on doubles by Cameron Maybin and Alberto Gonzalez. But the Rockies wiped out a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of that inning. Pat Neshek, who relieved LeBlanc, gave up a three-run homer to Chris Iannetta in the sixth.
``The Iannetta hit was the crusher,' Black said. ``Offensively, (we) had our chances, couldn't break through. Held them close enough but (things) didn't go our way.'
Making his fourth major league start, Nicasio struck out a career-high nine and walked one in six innings. Ludwick struck out on each of his three at_bats against Nicasio, who was brought up from Double-A Tulsa to make his major league debut May 27.
``He's got a live fastball, obviously everyone knows that,' Ludwick said. ``His slider, he was throwing just out of the zone. I got in one full count with him (in the fifth), and he threw a changeup. I don't think he's known for throwing righty on righty changeups too often. He's got pretty good command for a live arm, really good command, actually.
The Padres loaded the bases in the seventh against Matt Lindstrom, but manager Jim Tracy brought in rookie left-hander Rex Brothers. He was making his fifth appearance in the big leagues and struck out the left-handed hitting Rizzo, the Padres top prospect who was playing his sixth game in the majors.
The Padres scored a run in the ninth against closer Huston Street in a non-save situation when Ludwick singled home Chase Headley, who went 4-for-5.
Pitching has been the strength of the Padres, who are last in the majors with 230 runs, an average of 3.4 per game, and lead the majors with 564 strikeouts. But they have had shuffle their rotation this week. Bass started in place of Dustin Moseley, who missed a turn with a slightly dislocated left (non-pitching) shoulder. LeBlanc, who is in his third stint with the Padres this season, was brought up because Aaron Harang (right foot contusion) was placed on the disabled list Monday. To make room on the roster for LeBlanc, Bass was sent back to Double-A San Antonio. Black said LeBlanc will likely make another start.
Moseley has thrown one bullpen session and is scheduled for another after getting injured swinging a bat in his last start June 8. That won't happen when he starts Sunday at Minnesota because the Padres will have a designated hitter in their lineup and, perhaps, a little offensive lift.
Notes: Padres 2B Orlando Hudson (left groin) left for high Class A Lake Elsinore where he is scheduled to play Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. He will be evaluated Saturday and is scheduled to activated Sunday ... Brad Hawpe has a sore left elbow, the result of having to make a throw Sunday while playing right field. He had played first base until the arrival of Rizzo, the Padres' top prospect. Black said throwing is an issue but Hawpe can pinch-hit. The Padres hope to be able to use him as DH when they begin a three-game series Friday at Minnesota.
The Associated Press News Service
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