DENVER (AP) — Tyler Matzek started strong, faded late. It was simply a microcosm of the Colorado Rockies' season.
Matzek cruised through five innings but couldn't sustain it, faltering in the sixth and seventh innings as the San Diego Padres beat the Rockies 6-1 on Monday night.
Slumping Colorado lost for the 18th time in the last 21 games and fell into last place in the NL West.
It is a stark contrast to how the Rockies started the season. They won their first six series at home, but are 5-16 at Coors Field since June 3.
The last time they won a series at home was May 16-18 against San Diego.
"We can't afford to lose series, we've got to start winning series," manager Walt Weiss said. "We're getting some guys back, but bottom line is we have to start winning some series."
Matzek gave his team a chance early to win the first of this three-game series. He worked out of trouble in the first three innings before allowing a sacrifice fly to Brooks Conrad in the fourth.
Drew Stubbs tied it with a solo homer off Ian Kennedy in the bottom of the inning and Matzek got out of a jam in the fifth with a double play.
"My first few (innings) my stuff felt good," he said. "I was just trying to attack the zone."
For a while he kept pace with Kennedy, who pitched seven sharp innings. Chase Headley added four hits for San Diego, including a two-run triple in the seventh inning to break open a close game.
Kennedy seemed to gain strength the deeper he got into the game, striking out five of the last six batters before wind, rain and lightning forced the delay heading into the eighth inning. Kevin Quackenbush stepped in for Kennedy when play resumed.
Kennedy (7-9) finished with nine strikeouts, boosting his team-leading total this season to 125. He allowed four hits in seven innings, including Stubbs' leadoff home run in the fourth.
"He's always been effective and he's been effective his last few starts," outfielder Corey Dickerson said. "His fastball sneaks up on you and he elevates it. He's got a good off-speed curveball, and I feel he makes you swing at some pitches he wants you to swing at."