Hoffman sharp over 7 innings as Rockies beat Padres, 3-1
SAN DIEGO — The Colorado Rockies threw the Padres something of a curve by starting Jeff Hoffman instead of Tyler Anderson on Sunday.
Hoffman kept the benders coming, too, baffling San Diego with his offspeed offering.
Hoffman cruised through seven innings, Trevor Story had a pair of RBIs and the Rockies beat the Padres 3-1.
Hoffman (3-0) struck out nine after being called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill in for Anderson, sidelined by a left knee injury. The rookie right-hander allowed a run and San Diego’s only three hits as Colorado took three of four in the series. The win gave Colorado sole possession of the NL West lead.
“It was the best I’ve seen it,” Hoffman said of his curveball. “It was in the zone when I wanted it to be and wasn’t when I didn’t want it to be. When my curveball is in the zone like that and I have just a bit of command with my fastball, it’s going to be a good day.”
The top four hitters in the Padres lineup went 0 for 12 against Hoffman and 0 for 15 overall. Hoffman has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and is complemented by the curveball. He dropped his ERA this season to 2.61 in four appearances (three starts) and has 26 strikeouts and just two walks over 20 2/3 innings.
“The talent is there,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He is gifted with the velocity of his fastball. He is locating it and it has some movement. And I’m impressed with the curveball command. We didn’t see that in spring training.”
The difference, according to Black, is Hoffman’s consistency. It was on display against the Padres, and it was good enough for Black to confirm that Hoffman will stay in the rotation for at least another turn.
“All pitchers have confidence that they can pitch in the big leagues and I think Jeff has that,” Black said. “But with Jeff, it’s the delivery and the mechanics. When you repeat your delivery and you repeat your mechanics, you are going to make pitches, and he is making pitches.”
Hoffman was among the key pieces the Rockies received when they traded away Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015.
Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 21st save in 21 chances, extending his franchise record for consecutive conversions to start a season. Jake McGee worked the eighth inning.
Hunter Renfroe crushed his 11th homer in the fifth, a 419-foot shot which reached the upper-level facade of the Western Metal Supply building in left field. That pulled the Padres to within 3-1.
Jarred Cosart (0-2) failed in his attempt to win for the first time since Sept. 17, 2015, when pitching for the Miami Marlins. Cosart lasted four innings and surrendered six hits and three runs. He walked three, with five strikeouts.
“End results aren’t ideal where I want them to be, but a lot more quality pitches,” Cosart said.
His 21 consecutive starts without a win is the longest active streak in the Majors.
The Rockies got all their runs in the fourth. Story won an eight-pitch battle with Cosart, driving a full-count single that scored Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra.
Tony Wolters brought in the third run by singling in Ian Desmond, who was aboard on a walk.
Story has hit in six of his past seven games and went 5 for13 with three RBIs in the series.
Rockies: Anderson was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to Thursday.
Padres: OF Alex Dickerson’s minor league rehabilitation debut was delayed as he had additional issues with his back.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Sentzatela (7-2, 3.49) will face the visiting Cleveland Indians on Tuesday. Sentzatela, a rookie, is 5-1 in six home starts.
Padres: RHP Dinelson Lamet (2-0, 2.70) pitches against the host Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.