- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Rene Rivera lifted a shot toward the left-field wall and then watched as Brandon Barnes timed his leap perfectly to rob him of a tying homer.

Barnes’ catch and Drew Stubbs’ tiebreaking home run leading off the eighth led the Colorado Rockies to a 3-2 victory against the Padres on Tuesday night.

“He made a great catch, so you have to tip your hat. That’s baseball,” Rivera said. “I hit it well. I saw it off the bat, it went up and I had good, hard contact. But in Petco sometimes you still have to run hard. He made a great catch.”

Padres manager Bud Black said Rivera “really didn’t click it. But left field here at Petco is doable - smallest part of the park. You don’t have to hit it well to get it out of there in that area. He made a good play. Off the bat, I thought it had a chance just because it’s Petco in left field.”

The Padres, who were trying to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games, were assured of their fourth straight losing season. San Diego (75-82) can still finish with its best record in three seasons. The team went 76-86 in 2012 and 2013.

Stubbs homered on the first pitch from Dale Thayer (4-4) into the Jack Daniel’s party deck atop the right-field wall, his 15th. It was the first run Thayer allowed in nine outings.

Rymer Liriano was shaken up after slamming into the wall trying to make the catch but remained in the game.

Rivera sent a high drive to left opening the Padres eighth, but Barnes leaped to make the catch.

With the potential tying run on second base and two outs in the eighth, Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu made a nice, diving stab of Alexi Amarista’s grounder and threw him out to end the inning.

“Sometimes you have a game you hit 10 bloopers into base hits, sometimes you hit 15 balls hard and they are all outs,” Rivera said.

NL batting leader Justin Morneau went 1 for 4 with an RBI single to drop to .319, two percentage points ahead of Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison, who also went 1 for 4.

Juan Nicasio (6-6) allowed one hit in a scoreless inning for the win. LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances.

Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa had allowed only three hits through five scoreless innings when the Padres tied it at 2 in the sixth with three straight two-out hits.

De La Rosa allowed a leadoff single to Jedd Gyorko before striking out Rivera and Yasmani Grandal. Tommy Medica singled before Liriano and Amarista each had an RBI base hit.

Padres lefty Robbie Erlin lasted four innings, allowing two runs and six hits. He was making his second start since missing four months with a sore elbow. He allowed RBI singles by Morneau in the third and LeMahieu in the fourth.


Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who started his career with the Padres, chatted with players from both teams before the game.

Winfield once struck fear in Rockies manager Walt Weiss.

“His groundballs had teeth,” said Weiss, a former infielder. “It was not fun playing infield when Dave Winfield came to the plate.”


Padres: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne threw in the bullpen as the team contemplates whether to give him another start. Despaigne complained of pain on his right side after his last start Friday against the Giants. Black said an MRI didn’t show any structural damage, just irritation. … OF Carlos Quentin (knees) is going to try and play next year, Black said. Quentin was restricted to 50 games this year.


Rockies: LHP Yohan Flande (0-5, 4.91 ERA) will make his second start and third appearance against Padres. Flande was a hard-luck, 4-1 loser to San Diego on Aug. 12.

Padres: RHP Joe Wieland (0-0, 4.55) will make his second start of 2014 in San Diego’s home finale.

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