SAN DIEGO (AP) — Pitcher Juan Nicasio dug down and gave the Colorado Rockies exactly what they needed.
After a rough first inning, Nicasio settled in and threw six solid innings to help save a depleted bullpen as the Rockies got a rare road win with a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
With set-up reliever Rex Brothers sitting for a couple of days after two consecutive rough outings, and the rest of the bullpen having been used often recently, Colorado hoped Nicasio could pitch deep on Tuesday night.
The right-hander couldn't have started much worse by allowing two runs in the first inning when the first four Padres each got a hit. Although Nicasio got out of the inning with no more damage, his pitch count was already to 31 pitches.
"I look at the (pitching) board and saw 31 pitches and I know to stay in the game I have to have 10 pitches an inning," Nicasio said.
"The fact that he got through six was huge," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "We needed Juan to get through that sixth; that was critical. I was a little concerned at that point, but he settled in."
Nicasio (2-0) more than settled in against the light-hitting Padres as he allowed just two hits over his last five innings. Four relievers protected the 3-2 lead, allowing just two hits over the final three innings.
"He had it rough there early but he settled down and we picked him up on the back side," said Boone Logan, who came on in the seventh and walked a batter to load the bases with two outs before he got Alexi Amarista on a ground out.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth inning for his second save.
Colorado won for just the third time in nine road games this season.
Nicasio ran his career mark to 3-0 in six starts against San Diego with a 2.89 ERA.
The Rockies scratched together a single run in three separate innings, including the go-ahead run in the fifth off Robbie Erlin (1-1).
"The second time through the lineup, I just felt myself trying to do too much, overthrowing," Erlin said. "That's when I lose command of the ball. My game is definitely command and I got hurt with it."