DENVER (AP) - Franklin Morales was worn out and running on fumes by the time the sixth inning rolled around.
Going from a starter earlier in the season to a reliever and back to a starter will tend to do that.
Morales pitched effectively into the sixth - his longest outing since May - and Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer, helping the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Tuesday night.
“I do feel a little bit tired,” Morales said.
Still, it was another solid performance for Morales (5-4), who was reinserted into the starting rotation on July 3. The lefty surrendered four hits and one run before being removed for a reliever with two outs in the sixth.
“I just tried to make my pitches and give an opportunity to my team,” said Morales, who struck out six.
Blackmon gave him all the run support he would need with his homer in the third. It’s not like Tyson Ross (7-9) made a bad pitch, either.
The slider from Ross was down near the dirt and yet Blackmon drove the pitch into the seats in right field.
“If he didn’t swing, it probably would have been a ball,” said Ross, who’s not slated to pitch in the All-Star game since he’s scheduled to start Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “He put a good swing on it, a good at-bat right there. I threw the pitch that I wanted there.
“He’s an All-Star. He put a good swing on it and the ball got out.”
The slider to Blackmon aside, Ross said he felt “pretty strong” and had a “good rhythm” in this game. He went six innings and allowed six hits.
“I’m in the strike zone a lot more,” Ross said.
Blackmon had a double to go with his 13th homer of the season as he finally feels like his swing is getting dialed in again.
“I just kind of felt like I got into maybe some bad habits,” said Blackmon, who will be making his first appearance at the Midsummer Classic next week in Minnesota. “That kept me from being simple and direct to the ball. I’ve simplified things a little bit lately.”
Rene Rivera homered for the Padres in the sixth. Chris Denorfia had three hits.