SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Colorado Rockies' swing through California has had an annoying ring to it.
The Rockies lost 2-0 to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night, meaning they've scored just 13 runs in losing five of eight games on the trip, with one left.
``It's a difficult thing,' Todd Helton said. ``There's a point where you try too hard and don't let your natural ability take over, and that's what we are doing. But it's gone on too long and we need to fix it. We're a lot better ballclub offensively than the way we've been playing.
``Offensively, we need to go out and play with more confidence and turn this thing around,' Helton said.
Alberto Gonzalez and Tim Stauffer had consecutive RBI singles with two outs in the fifth against Ubaldo Jimenez to lift the Padres.
The Padres have won four of six to start an 11-game homestand, their longest of the year. It was just their third win in their last 11 home games against the Rockies.
Stauffer and Heath Bell combined on a five-hitter, with Bell pitching the ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances. It was San Diego's third shutout after they tied the franchise record with 20 last year. Colorado was shut out for the third time.
Stauffer (2-4) struck out eight in eight innings, both career-highs, to win for the second time in three starts. He held the Rockies to four hits and walked one.
Jimenez (1-6) was coming off his first victory of the season, 3-0 at Los Angeles, following a nine-start winless streak to start the season. He struck out a season-high eight and walked none in seven innings while allowing two runs and six hits.
Jimenez struck out the first two batters in the fifth, including former teammate Brad Hawpe. Rookie Kyle Phillips singled to right and took second on a wild pitch. Gonzalez hit an infield single up the middle that was knocked down by second baseman Chris Nelson. The ball squirted away behind second base. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki picked it up as Phillips was coming home on the play and threw home, but catcher Jose Morales couldn't hang on.
Gonzalez went to second on the throw home and scored on Stauffer's single to left.
The Rockies, who beat San Diego 3-0 on Monday night, had runners on second base three times with two outs.
``We've been in games like this on the entire road trip,' manager Jim Tracy said. ``It was down to a few at_bats. But that's the thing we are in search of. At some point in time, we have to reach some level of consistency.'
Also Tuesday, Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said prized prospect Anthony Rizzo will be in San Diego on Wednesday to have his left thumb examined by a specialist.
Hoyer wouldn't say if Rizzo will remain in San Diego to join the big league club, although indications are that the slugging Triple-A first baseman will make his big league debut within days.
Rizzo is one of two prized prospects acquired by the Padres when they traded three-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox in December in a five-player deal.
Rizzo, who is tearing up the Pacific Coast League with Tucson, injured his left thumb May 31 when he collided with an umpire. He sat out the following two games, played three games and then sat out Monday and Tuesday.
NOTES: The Rockies placed slumping OF Dexter Fowler on the 15-day disabled list due to a left abdominal strain. ... To take his place, the team purchased the contract of outfielder Charlie Blackmon from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Colorado has moved Fowler around in the batting order, trying to find a comfortable fit for the speedy center fielder. He's hitting .238 and leads the team with 66 strikeouts. He also have five triples, ranking among the league leaders. It's Fowler's first trip to the DL since bruising his right knee in August 2009.
The Associated Press News Service
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