Slumping Padres lose 10th straight

SAN DIEGO (AP) - No matter what they try, the San Diego Padres just keep losing.

The NL West-leading Padres lost their 10th straight game Sunday as Melvin Mora hit a go-ahead single that sent the Colorado Rockies to a 4-2 win.

“We have a sense of urgency right now,” Padres pitcher Clayton Richard said. “We have a special opportunity and we are going to do every thing in our control to take advantage of it.”

Mora’s tiebreaking hit in the seventh inning gave Colorado its 10th win in 14 games. The Rockies pulled within 4 1/2 games of the slumping Padres.

The Padres, who have led the division virtually the entire season, have seen their season-high 6 1/2 game lead on Aug. 25 nearly evaporate. San Diego began the day with a two-game edge over San Francisco, which played a night game at Dodger Stadium.

San Diego has not won since a 9-3 victory over last-place Arizona at home on Aug. 25. Since then, the Padres have been outscored 55-23 and have watched their top-rated pitching staff and defense falter, along with an offense devoid of key hits.

“We’re in games but we’re not generating the big hit, not generating the offense to get us over the top,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “We have to turn this around. It’s in us because I’ve seen it. But we haven’t done it the last 10 games.”

It looked like Miguel Tejada’s towering two-run homer in the sixth inning that tied the game at 2-all might give the Padres momentum. But Mora’s hit sent them to another defeat.

The losing streak is starting to take on near historical dimensions. The streak is San Diego’s longest since a franchise record 13-game skid in May 1994. Plus, only two teams in major league history have made the postseason in a year that included a losing streak of at least 10 games.

“I don’t think we can be too hard on ourselves,” Tejada said. “We just have to keep playing hard and we have to be positive. We’re still in first place.”

The Rockies completed the three-game sweep and have won 11 of 15 games this season against the Padres, including seven of nine at Petco Park. This was Colorado’s first road sweep since Aug. 18-20, 2009, at Washington.

“I think it goes without saying, this was a tremendous series for us,” Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. “It has brightened the picture considerably over the course of the last three days.”

The Rockies, who have not been this close to first place since July 23, also moved within 5 1/2 games of Philadelphia in the wild-card race.

“We have a really good opportunity to win the division,” said Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez. “We just have to keep playing good baseball.”

Tejada’s fifth homer hit off the front of the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Company building down the left-field line and came right after Adrian Gonzalez doubled with one out in the sixth.

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