SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jorge De La Rosa was much better against the Padres in San Diego then he was at home in Colorado.
He still lost.
De la Rosa allowed three runs in five innings Saturday night as the Rockies lost 4-2 to the Padres.
On April 9 he got pushed around by the Padres, allowing a career-high tying nine runs. De La Rosa didn't look right in his first start since being idle with a left groin strain.
That changed this time out.
"I feel good," he said. "This is my third game back. When I wanted to throw hard, I threw it."
De La Rosa (0-2) allowed five hits and three walks, one intentional, in five innings. He struck out nine but couldn't prevent the Rockies from losing their fourth straight.
"He looked like himself," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He threw the ball real well, mixed in some curveballs for strikes to change their eye level and had the rest of his arsenal working."
Brandon Morrow (2-0) wriggled out of a jam in the sixth, getting Nick Hundley to groundout with two on. Morrow was charged with two runs and seven hits. He struck out four.
Craig Kimbrel struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save this season and 33rd straight overall.
Padres manager Bud Black noticed how De La Rosa was different.
"We knew he would be different from what he was in Colorado," Black said. "We jumped on him in the first and had a big opportunity but he kept us at bay."
Matt Kemp singled in a run in the first, but San Diego fell behind on DJ LeMahieu's RBI groundout in the second and Charlie
Blackmon's third homer of the season. It was Blackmon's second extra-base hit, after opening the game with a double.
The Padres took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning on Upton's one-out, two-run single up the middle. Wil Myers had walked for his second time and Derek Norris reached on his second hit, a double. Upton was thrown out at second when Blackmon's throw from center field to the plate was cut off.
"It wasn't a mistake," De La Rosa said in giving Upton credit. "I think we lost the game right there.
Myers had a run-scoring single in the sixth to make it 4-2.
The two Rockies with the best averages, LeMahieu and Corey Dickerson, both have southern roots. LeMahieu started on LSU's 2009 College World Series title team and Dickerson, a Mississippi native, turned down Mississippi State to sign with Colorado in 2010.
Rockies: Blackmon was back in the lineup after being ill on Friday.
Padres: RHP Joaquin Benoit has what manager Bud Black called "a dead arm." But he said Benoit, who usually works the eighth inning, was feeling better. ... RHP Shawn Kelley, on the DL with a strained left calf, will pitch twice next week with Triple-A El Paso.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Kendrick (1-3, 8.36) has lost three of his past four decisions. After winning on opening day, Kendrick is 0-3 with a 11.14 ERA in four starts.
Padres: RHP James Shields (2-0, 2.90) will try to win his third straight decision. He's coming off a no-decision against the Astros where he had a season-high 12 strikeouts.
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