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Kelly, Guzman lead Padres to 4-3 win over Rockies

Associated Press Modified: September 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm •  Published: September 15, 2012

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres believe they have a special talent in Casey Kelly.

The rookie pitcher showed on Saturday night why the Padres insisted on him being included in the Adrian Gonzalez trade with Boston in 2010.

Kelly carried a shutout into the seventh inning and Jesus Guzman hit a three-run homer, leading the Padres to a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Kelly (2-1), making his fourth major league start, kept the Rockies off balance with a mixture of fastballs and curveballs. Colorado advanced just one runner to third base against Kelly through six innings.

"You get more and more comfortable every time out there," Kelly said. "Every inning you get you feel more comfortable with the team. I think every outing is just getting more and more comfortable."

Kelly looked more like the pitcher who allowed just three hits in six scoreless inning of his major-league debut, a 3-0 win over Atlanta on Aug. 27. In his next two outings, Kelly was hammered for 13 runs — 11 earned — on 16 hits over just eight innings.

"He had a terrific breaking ball early," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "On his two-strike pitches, he did a great job of making them strikes out of his hand."

Colorado finally reached the rookie for three runs in the seventh.

Kelly allowed three runs — two earned — on seven hits over six-plus innings. He struck out six.

"The velocity came back today, a lot of pitches in the low 90s," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The ball had carry and he got his grounders and he got his strikeouts. "He was very efficient."

Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in 12 chances.

Rookie Drew Pomeranz (1-9) dropped his sixth straight decision for Colorado, which lost for the eighth time in its last 10 games.

The Rockies need to win 10 of their last 18 games to avoid tying the franchise's worst record at 67-95.

San Diego has won eight of 10 overall and 12 of 15 at Petco Park.

Guzman homered to center in the third inning off Pomeranz to give San Diego a 4-0 lead.

"A home run ball that was outside," Pomeranz said. "Sometimes it happens that way. It wasn't a bad pitch. It wasn't even in the strike zone. I don't know how he hit it so far."

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