SAN DIEGO (AP) — Andrew Cashner appears ready for the national spotlight.
With a few more performances like the ones he's turned in this season, Cashner's name will be well-known throughout baseball.
Cashner gutted his way into the eighth inning and Chris Denorfia drove in two runs in the San Diego Padres' 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
Cashner (2-1) wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in his previous start when he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against Detroit on Friday before settling for a one-hitter with a career-best 11 strikeouts. But the righty was resourceful as he consistently pitched his way out of trouble. He held the Rockies hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.
"When it gets into a tough spot and the manager sticks with you, it was a big confidence (boost) for me to let me go out there in the eighth," said Cashner, who lowered his ERA to 1.27.
"There's no doubt that he's going to be talked about as he moves forward," San Diego manager Bud Black said.
Cashner gave up nine hits overall and allowed two runs — one earned — with five strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings. It was the 10th consecutive start in which Cashner has allowed two runs or less.
In the 10-game stretch, Cashner has an ERA of 0.99 and is holding opposing batters to a .175 average.
"When Cashner is on the mound, you know he's only going to give up a couple of runs at the most and he is going to keep it there," said rookie Tommy Medica, who tied the game with a solo homer in the second. "If you give him a couple more, he's going to keep the lead."
Cashner's most impressive pitching came in the sixth inning, while holding a 3-1 lead. With one out, the Rockies loaded the bases on three straight singles. But Cashner got Jordan Pacheco to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
"He's a competitor, man, and he is not afraid to come at you," Colorado's Nolan Arenado said. "He is always competing. His fastball moves a lot and it moves late. It looks good and it runs in on you and you get jammed."
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his fifth save as the Padres won for the fifth time in seven games.
Justin Morneau went 3 for 3 and drove in both Rockies runs with a solo homer and a sacrifice fly. Jorge De La Rosa (0-3) pitched a season-high six innings, allowing three runs — two earned — and seven hits.
"The thing was, I was pitching better, " De La Rosa said. "But I make mistakes. You can't do that, and I feel bad."
De La Rosa, demoted to the bullpen after his last start, was inserted back into the starting rotation after Brett Anderson suffered a fractured finger Saturday. De La Rosa, a 16-game winner last season, had surrendered 15 runs in his first three starts before Wednesday night.
San Diego reached De La Rosa for a pair of runs in the fifth inning to take the lead.
Alexi Amarista, who replaced the injured Chase Headley at third base, reached on an infield hit with one out. Cashner sacrificed him to second and Amarista went to third on Everth Cabrera's infield single. Amarista then scored on Pacheco's passed ball and Denorfia hit an RBI double for a 3-1 lead.
Denorfia added a run-scoring single in the seventh.
Cabrera, who sat out Tuesday night with a sore knee, extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Medica tied the game at 1 with a solo homer in the second inning after Morneau put the Rockies ahead in the top of inning when he hit a solo shot into the beach beyond the center-field fence.
NOTES: De La Rosa came in with a 3-0 record in his last four starts at Petco Park. He hasn't lost to the Padres in any ballpark in nearly four years. ... Headley sat out with a strained right biceps, suffered in the batting cage before Tuesday night's game. He is listed as day to day. ... Anderson is scheduled to have surgery Thursday to repair his fractured left index finger. ... Rockies LHP Franklin Morales (0-1, 6.39) replaces Anderson in the starting rotation and will face San Diego RHP Ian Kennedy (1-2, 4.24) in the series finale Thursday.