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Tyson Ross makes mistake with slider to Charlie Blackmon as Padres fall 2-1 to Rockies
DENVER - Tyson Ross made just one bad pitch — and really it wasn't all that bad.
The All-Star pitcher tossed a low slider to Charlie Blackmon in the third, which the fellow All-Star hit into the right-field bleachers for a two-run homer. That tiny hiccup helped the Colorado Rockies to a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
"That's just baseball," said Ross, who went six innings and allowed six hits. "He's an All-Star. He put a good swing on it and the ball got out."
Forgetting the slider that Blackmon blasted, Ross (7-9) said he felt "pretty strong" and had a "good rhythm" in this game.
"I was hitting my spots early in counts," 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. "I think I'm in the strike zone a lot more."
Blackmon had a double to go with his 13th homer of the season as he finally feels as though 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.
Franklin Morales (5-4) was worn out and running on fumes by the time the sixth inning rolled around. Going from a starter early in the season to a reliever and now back to a starter will tend to do that.
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.
"Blackmon might have been looking for it. He might have been gearing up. He might have been cheating a little bit. I don't know," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It was a (darn) good pitch."
In truth, Blackmon said he was looking for a fastball. That's why he was so out in front of the slider.
"Just able to stay on it," Blackmon said.
Colorado's bullpen held San Diego's bats at bay over the final three innings to preserve the win for Morales. It was just the fourth victory by a Rockies starter in the last 25 games and first by someone other than Jorge De La Rosa over that stretch.
The Rockies received a scare in the ninth when left fielder Corey Dickerson rolled over his left wrist trying to make a diving catch on pinch-hitter Seth Smith's two-out double. Dickerson stayed in the game after being checked on by a trainer and manager Walt Weiss.
Dickerson's wrist was wrapped after the game, but he said X-rays were good.
Morales started the season in the rotation, but was bumped to the bullpen after a shaky stretch. The Rockies made him a starter again out of necessity when Christian Bergman went out with a fractured left wrist.
The 28-year-old Morales has a 1.69 ERA in his last two starts.
"He scattered some balls around the hitting area, he made some pitches and got us out," Black said of Morales.
NOTES: The Padres will go for their first series win at Coors Field in two years on Wednesday. LHP Eric Stults (3-11) goes for the Padres while the Rockies counter with RHP Jair Jurrjens (0-1), who experienced tightness in his chest after his last start at Coors on July 4. ... Ross and Morales both threw 98 pitches, 63 for strikes. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (left index finger) could be back in the lineup as soon as Friday. He's been out since June 4.
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