DENVER (AP) - Mat Latos was done in by dink hits and that's something he can live with.
Latos matched Jhoulys Chacin pitch for pitch before running out of steam as the San Diego Padres fell 6-3 to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
The righty was cruising along until the sixth inning, when a flurry of singles chased him from the game. The Rockies broke the game open with five runs to take two of three in the series.
Latos (4-8) was hardly discouraged by his outing but noticeably angry.
``It is frustrating. That's how it is,' he scowled. ``That's how baseball is.'
The last time Latos was at Coors Field on May 15, he was highly effective at the high altitude. He gave up two runs, one earned, in 5 2-3 innings as he snapped a personal 10-game losing streak.
He felt just as good, just as crisp on Wednesday.
And except for a couple of pitches that resulted in bloop hits, he wouldn't change a thing. Neither would his skipper.
``I thought Mat threw fine. I thought he was efficient through the first four innings,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``I thought today he had a really good curve ball and a good change. I thought the secondary pitches were outstanding.'
On this afternoon, Rockies budding ace Jhoulys Chacin was simply better, scattering three hits over six sharp innings.
Chacin (8-4) only made one mistake all afternoon, giving up a solo homer to Rob Johnson, as he lowered his ERA to 2.81. He also had seven strikeouts and walked two to pick up his third straight win.
Although Chacin is hardly a household name, the righty is starting to make a case for All-Star consideration. He's among the NL leaders in several categories, including opposing batting average (.196).
Chacin simply outdueled Latos, who allowed four runs and eight hits - only one for extra bases - in 5 1-3 innings.
``I can look back and honestly recall one ball being hit hard and it was (Troy) Tulowitzki's double,' Latos said.
The Rockies cranked up their offense in the sixth as the team had seven singles in the inning, including five straight at one point. Seth Smith, Ty Wigginton and Charlie Blackmon all had RBI singles, while pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs added a two-run base hit up the middle.
``I guess you see it from time to time, but seven singles?' Black said.
Chris Denorfia drove in two runs for San Diego, including a two-out RBI single in the ninth.
``We played to the end. We had (Rockies closer Huston) Street one hitter away from coming in the game,' Black said.
The Rockies are now 2-0 since manager Jim Tracy's closed-door meeting in which he implored his team to pick up their game. Asked if that lecture lit a fire, Wigginton simply said, ``Absolutely it does.'
``He's basically showing that he's living and dying with us as far as baseball. You want to go out there and respond,' Wigginton said.
Colorado backup catcher Jose Morales had a solid day at the plate, going 2 for 4. But he had a rough time in the field, especially in the sixth when he committed two errors.
Morales threw wild to first after fielding a bunt and committed another error on a catcher's interference call when Ryan Ludwick's bat struck his glove. The Padres couldn't capitalize on the miscues as Morales threw out Jason Bartlett trying to steal and Chacin got Cameron Maybin to ground out to thwart the threat.
The inning before, Morales was hit on the right thumb by a foul tip from Johnson. Morales clutched at his hand for several minutes as he crawled on the ground in pain. Following a visit from the trainer, Morales hopped up, took some quick tosses and stayed in the game.
A few pitches later, Johnson hit a solo homer to left, his first since May 3 against Pittsburgh.
``It has been a while,' Johnson said, chuckling. ``He threw me a slider and I hit it out.'
Notes: After playing 20 straight contests, the Padres have Thursday off before opening a three-game series in Minnesota. ... INF Jorge Cantu was designated for assignment after the game.
Pat Graham can be reached at http://twitter.com/pgraham34
The Associated Press News Service
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