DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Rockies had enjoyed success against Cory Luebke in his brief major league career.
Not so much Monday night.
Luebke took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, leading the San Diego Padres to an 8-2 victory against the slumping Rockies.
``He had a little bit extra on his fastball, a little bit more carry in the hitting area,' Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. ``He did a pretty good job of wiggling out of several 3-0 counts and that didn't help the situation just due to the fact that we weren't able to get any runners on base.'
Cameron Maybin and Aaron Cunningham homered for San Diego, which has won three of four. Maybin, Cunningham and Jason Bartlett had two hits apiece.
Mark Ellis homered for Colorado's only hit of the game. The Rockies have lost five straight and six of seven.
``We obviously don't have some of our best players out there,' Ellis said. ``The guys that are out there are playing hard. We're not winning a lot of games.'
Luebke (6-9) struck out a career-high nine in seven innings, yielding two runs and one hit. The left-hander was 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA in nine career games against the Rockies before Monday night.
Tracy was quick to point out there were a different set of circumstances this time that left them vulnerable to Luebke.
``With what we have out there right now offensively, when you dig a seven-run hole, you can't ask some of these young kids to do the things that are necessary when you get down that quickly,' Tracy said. ``That is somewhat of an insurmountable task when you look around that field and see the number of young kids that we have out there.'
Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (left hip), first baseman Todd Helton (back) and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (right wrist) were out of the lineup.
The Padres have never thrown a no-hitter in their 43-year history, and 19 times they've held an opponent hitless into the eighth. The last time was July 9 when five pitchers held the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless through 8 2-3 innings before Juan Uribe broke it up with a double.
Luebke tried to become the first pitcher in franchise history to accomplish the feat. He retired 12 straight at one point through five innings. He got Chris Nelson to line out to open the sixth before walking Eric Young Jr.
Luebke momentarily preserved the no-hitter in the sixth when he slid to grab Dexter Fowler's slow roller near the mound and threw out the speedy outfielder at first for the second out of the inning.
One batter later, Ellis belted a two-run drive to left-center that made it 8-2.
``Everybody knows he's throwing a no-hitter,' Ellis said. ``You don't really think about it until you get to the seventh inning.'
Ernesto Frieri pitched two innings to finish the game.
The Padres jumped on Kevin Millwood (3-3) early. They grabbed the lead in the second on three straight singles and made it 3-0 in the fourth on RBI singles by Bartlett and Kyle Blanks.
San Diego broke it open in the fourth and chased Millwood. Jeremy Hermida led off with a walk and scored on Cunningham's homer to left-center, his second.
One out later, Luebke singled to right and Maybin hit the first pitch he saw into the right-field bleachers for his ninth homer.
Jim Miller relieved Millwood and got the final two outs of the inning.
Millwood allowed seven runs, six earned, and nine hits.
``It was a bad night,' Millwood said. ``I pitched bad.'
NOTES: Tulowitzki has missed six straight games and eight of the past 10. Helton has missed six consecutive games and 12 of the past 14. Gonzalez missed his fourth game in a row. ... Padres INF Jesus Guzman (sore neck) was not in the lineup. ... The Padres will send RHP Matt Latos to the mound against RHP Jhoulys Chacin in the second game of the series Tuesday.
The Associated Press News Service
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