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But this milestone win was far from easy.

Rafael Betancourt struggled in the ninth as he surrendered a solo homer to Nick Hundley and put two more runners on before striking out Yonder Alonso to close out the game.

About the only flaw to the night were two more errors by smooth-fielding shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, giving him six already this season. The Gold Glove winner had six all of last year.

His fielding error in the seventh proved quite costly and nearly spoiled Moyer’s place in the record books. With two on and one out, Tulowitzki had a routine double play ball go right through his legs, leading to a run. Jason Bartlett brought in another with a sacrifice fly to right to cut the lead to 3-2.

Moyer ended the threat by getting pinch hitter Jeremy Hermida to ground out to second on a 76-mph cutter.

That was vintage Moyer.

With streaks of gray in his hair, Moyer looks like a player who will turn 50 in November.

But once he steps on the mound that youthful exuberance returns.

He’s transformed into a kid again, sprinting out to the mound after each inning.

On this night, he looked more like a spry rookie than a veteran nearing retirement _ or at least his AARP card.

“It’s a great night for the Rockies, as far as winning a baseball game. But it’s an historic night for one tremendous human being,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “It couldn’t happen to a better guy. A more professional person I don’t know I’ve been around.”

The aged wonder used his wealth of experience to his advantage against the young Padres, six of whom weren’t even born when Moyer made his major league debut in 1986. That included Anthony Bass (0-2), a pitcher half Moyer’s age who went five innings and gave up three runs.

Mark Kotsay’s first plate appearance of the season was a single in the opening inning. Kotsay was activated off the disabled list on Monday after missing the first 10 games with a strained right calf muscle.

That his first hit should be against Moyer hardly comes as a surprise since the 36-year-old Kotsay has a .583 lifetime average against Moyer. They even exchanged friendly grins after each of Kotsay’s two singles.

“He wears me out. He knows it. I know it,” Moyer said. “We joke in the offseason.”

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