Hanigan’s hit lifts Rockies over Padres in 11 innings
SAN DIEGO — Ryan Hanigan made a big impression in his first game with the Rockies.
The veteran catcher was summoned Wednesday and led Colorado on Thursday with an RBI infield single in the 11th inning of a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.
“What a game he had coming in from our Triple-A (Albuquerque) team and contributing with a veteran game behind the plate with a rookie pitcher and multiple relief pitchers that he hasn’t caught,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “That is not easy.”
Hanigan, who also homered, grounded a ball up the middle that Erick Aybar fielded but could not flip to Cory Spangenberg at second for a force. That allowed Ian Desmond to score.
“It was in the right spot,” Black said.
So was Hanigan, who had three hits, during numerous key moments in the game.
“It was a fun day for me, for sure,” he said.
Chad Qualls (1-0) pitched the 10th for the win. Greg Holland followed for his 12th save, although the potential tying run did reach base.
Brad Hand (0-1) took the loss.
Adam Ottavino walked the bases loaded in the eighth and Yangervis Solarte tied it off reliever Jake McGee. Solarte narrowly beat a relay on his potential double-play grounder to even the score.
Rookie Kyle Freeland finished with 6 1/3 innings and was charged with one run and three hits. He notched four strikeouts and two walks, but Colorado’s stellar bullpen couldn’t keep down San Diego.
“Kyle doesn’t pitch like a rookie or act like a rookie,” Hanigan said. “He’s got a bright future.”
The Padres finally got to Freeland in the seventh, chasing him after Hunter Renfroe’s RBI double sliced the deficit to 2-1. Freeland was lifted after his one-out walk to Ryan Schimpf, but relievers Scott Oberg and Ottavino sat down pinch-hitters Spangenberg and Hector Sanchez.
Hanigan, who spent last year with the Red Sox and hit one home run in 105 at-bats, smacked a seventh-inning solo homer, his first of the year, pushing the Rockies ahead 2-0. Reliever Ryan Buchter elevated a 91 mph fastball and Hanigan got just enough of it to clear the fence in left, with the ball traveling 364 feet.
Freeland, who absorbed his lone loss this season when facing the Padres last month, retired 18 of the first 20 batters he faced. Of the two hits San Diego collected over that span, one was of the infield variety.
“In the first seven against Freeland we didn’t really give ourselves much of a chance — he pitched well,” Padres manager Andy Green said.
San Diego’s Luis Perdomo was strangely effective. Pitching from behind to many batters, he lasted six innings, charged with one run and five hits. His 90 pitches produced five strikeouts and two walks.
“I was feeling good,” Perdomo said through a translator. “Every day I’m working hard in my bullpens to make sure that my pitches are working for my next start.”
A struggling Perdomo had to wiggle from a jam in the third when he loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks with one out. But he avoided the trouble by getting Desmond to ground into a double play.
The Rockies struck first in the second when Alexi Amarista, an ex-Padre, drove in Desmond with an RBI single. Desmond had the first of three consecutive singles, with Amarista’s giving the Rockies a 1-0 lead.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (0-1, 7.20) begins a 10-game homestand in a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. Marquez didn’t figure into the decision when he pitched five innings and allowed six runs and seven hits when facing Arizona on Sunday.
Padres: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 5.82) takes the hill as the Dodgers arrive to open a three-game series on Friday.
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