- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Brandon Barnes timed his jump perfectly, leaped and caught Rene Rivera’s fly ball that was on a home-run trajectory.

The Colorado Rockies left fielder then took great delight in showing the fans that he made the catch.

Drew Stubbs hit a tiebreaking home run leading off the eighth and Barnes robbed Rivera of a tying shot in the bottom of the inning to lead the Rockies to a 3-2 victory against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.

“One of the guys said, ‘He’s going to hit a homer here.’ And I said, ‘I’m going to rob it.’ He hit it and I robbed it and that’s why I got up and said, ‘I told you so.’”

Barnes said he looked at a replay and it appeared that Rivera’s ball would have hit the top of the wall and bounced over if he hadn’t caught it.

“It’s great having Barnes here. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our club,” manager Walt Weiss said.

“He made a great catch, so you have to tip your hat,” Rivera said. “That’s baseball. 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.

“It was the first good swing of the day for me,” said Stubbs, who was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts up to that point. “I was looking to be aggressive and he threw me a first-pitch slider and I was able to hit it the other way.”

Said Weiss: “He’s got a lot of power. We’ve seen him shrink some big parks.”

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.

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.

MORNEAU’S PLATEAU

Morneau is four hits shy of 1,500 career hits. In 43 games since the All-Star break, he is hitting .331 (63 for 160).

TRAINER’S ROOM

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.

UP NEXT

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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