Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press
SAN DIEGO – The Colorado Rockies got exactly what they needed to end a five-game losing streak – a win by a pitcher making his big league debut and an offensive outburst.
Left-hander Christian Friedrich pitched six solid innings to win his debut, and Jason Giambi and Wilin Rosario hit RBI doubles off the top of the fences at Petco Park as the Rockies rallied to beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Wednesday.
The Rockies denied the Padres their first series sweep of the season. It was just the second time in 12 road games the Rockies scored more than four runs. The Rockies had 13 hits, including at least one by every regular.
Just as big, Friedrich helped stabilize a rotation that’s struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. Friedrich (1-0) held San Diego to two runs, one earned, on six hits while striking out seven and walking one. He was Colorado’s first-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft.
“I guess it’s a dream come true,” Friedrich said. “I struggled the last two years. To come up here and have some success, I know it’s only one, but it feels great. It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I can go out and there and do my thing.”
With two starters on the disabled list, the Rockies called up Friedrich and Alex White to get them through this three-game series. White pitched well in a 3-1 loss Tuesday night.
“That, just like (Tuesday) night, was really refreshing to see,” manager Jim Tracy said. “I tip my cap to Christian Friedrich, knowing the work he has put in and the fact that what we saw (Wednesday) was the result of a lot of work on a lot of people’s part in the organization. This kid worked really, really hard, and he’s gotten himself into a really good place.
“Really, the unfortunate thing is we weren’t able to win (Tuesday) night’s game with the two young guys we sent out there,” Tracy said. “But to see what we saw from the pitching standpoint from both these guys is extremely encouraging going forward.”
The Rockies scored four unearned runs in the sixth against Anthony Bass (1-4) after shortstop Andy Parrino committed a fielding error on Jonathan Herrera’s grounder with one out.
Carlos Gonzalez doubled, and Michael Cuddyer followed with a sacrifice fly. Giambi intentionally was walked before Rosario hit a high fly ball that bounced off the top of the fence in left, bringing in Gonzalez and Giambi. The umpires reviewed the hit on video but upheld the double. Chris Nelson singled in Giambi for a 5-2 lead.
Nelson hit another RBI single in the eighth.
Each team had a runner thrown out at the plate.
In the fourth, Gonzalez and Cuddyer hit one-out singles. Giambi doubled off the top of the fence in center field, sending Gonzalez and Cuddyer racing home. Gonzalez scored, but Cuddyer was thrown out on Parrino’s relay throw.
The umpires reviewed Giambi’s hit, too, and again upheld the double.
In the third, San Diego’s Cameron Maybin reached on a one-out throwing error by shortstop Marco Scutaro, and Chase Headley followed with a single to right. Yonder Alonso doubled to left to bring in Maybin for a 2-0 lead. When it looked like left fielder Gonzalez might try to throw to second, Headley hesitated and then broke for home, and Gonzalez threw him out.
Friedridch allowed a walk and two singles in the first, including Alonso’s RBI single,
“I don’t recall a ball being barreled up against him,” Tracy said. “That’s how good he was. They flipped a couple of base hits out there to help them produce their two runs, but I don’t know that they completely squared a ball up against him in the time he was out there.”
Bass allowed five runs, one earned, and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked one.
Bass “was hanging in there. Then we opened the door for them,” Padres manager Bud Black said, referring to Parrino’s error. “That came back to haunt us.
“The key at-bat was Rosario’s at-bat,” Black said. “He threw a slider, and Rosario has some power. That kind of took the wind out of his sails.”