Nelson's homer lifts Rockies past Padres

Associated Press Modified: September 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm •  Published: September 2, 2012
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DENVER (AP) — Chris Nelson wasn't sure he had hit the ball hard enough for a homer.

When he saw the saw ball disappear over the fence as he rounded first base, out came a celebratory fist pump, and a day marked by frustration at the plate and in the field turned noticeably bright.

Nelson had his go-ahead, three-run home run in the seventh inning, and the Colorado Rockies overcame a career-best six RBIs by Chase Headley to beat the San Diego Padres 11-10 on Sunday.

"I was hustling out of the box, but I got it pretty good and I was thinking triple out there," said Nelson, who was still fuming over his strikeout in his previous at bat as well as what he considered his sloppy fielding of a grounder to third base that Cameron Maybin beat out for an infield hit in the Padres' three-run fourth.

"The day wasn't going the best for me, just wasn't going well, and it all came out at once," Nelson said. "I've had a couple (of game-winning homers) before but none like that one. It's a great feeling, a great feeling to be up at the plate with guys in scoring position and to get them all in."

Tyler Colvin and Ramon Hernandez also homered and Dexter Fowler had three hits and two RBIs to help the Rockies win two of three to snap the Padres' string of three consecutive series victories.

"Everybody is just doing their job. Everybody is doing what they need to do to get the win at the end of the day," Nelson said.

Headley drove in at least one run with each of his four hits, including his 23rd homer of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning. Alexi Amarista had a career-best five hits for the Padres, who had a season-high 20 on the day.

"I was swinging good. I found some holes, hit a couple of balls hard, hit a couple not as hard and was able to find the holes today," Headley said. "I had a lot of opportunities with guys on base. It makes my job a lot easier when there is a lot of pressure on the pitcher."

With San Diego leading 9-7 in the bottom of the seventh, Tommy Layne hit Carlos Gonzalez with a pitch, Jordan Pacheco singled, and one out later Nelson homered to straightaway center against Brad Brach (1-4). It was Nelson's seventh home run of the season.

"I was trying to throw a slider down and away and out of the zone," Brach said. "I left it up, he made a good swing on it and hit it out."

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Nelson has been swinging the bat well recently.

"The ball has been on the barrel of his bat regularly lately," Tracy said of Nelson, who has had at least one RBI in four of his last five games.

Colorado added a run in the eighth, with help from a two-base throwing error by Brach that allowed Charlie Blackmon, aboard with a walk, to advance to third. Fowler drove him in with his third hit of the day and second RBI single.



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