SAN DIEGO (AP) — After spending the entire 2011 season in Triple-A, Jeff Suppan has won both of his starts for the San Diego Padres.
Will Venable tripled and scored in the first, then doubled in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning to back the 37-year-old Suppan and help the Padres to a 3-1 win against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
San Diego won its second series of the season. The Rockies lost their fifth straight game.
Suppan (2-0) settled in after the first inning, when he allowed two hits and two walks but gave up only one run. He has won both of his starts since being called up from Triple-A Tucson after lefty Cory Luebke went on the disabled list with a strained elbow.
"I learned a lot from last year and I learned a lot from this year," said Suppan, who was signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason. "What I've learned is to always be ready."
Suppan contributed to the go-ahead run when he sacrificed Jason Bartlett, who drew a leadoff walk in the fifth. Venable then followed with a double to left to give the Padres a 2-1 lead against Alex White, (0-1), who was making his season debut. Orlando Hudson added an RBI triple in the eighth.
Suppan held Colorado to one run and four hits in five innings, walked two and struck out one.
Pacheco doubled to center with one out in the first. Gonzalez walked before Troy Tulowitzki forced Pacheco at third. Todd Helton singled in Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer walked to load the bases. Suppan got Ramon Hernandez to fly out to right to end the threat.
"I had some command issues but I just kind of kept battling," Suppan said. "Basically, from that point on, I took every at-bat like it was its own game and did the best I could. From there, it was the bullpen. The bullpen did a fantastic job making up some innings there."
Dale Thayer pitched the ninth for his second save in as many nights. He allowed two singles, giving the Rockies runners on first and third with one out, before Jordan Pacheco's single hit Marco Scutaro for the second out. Thayer struck out Carlos Gonzalez to end it.
Venable tripled to left to open the first and scored on Yonder Alonso's two-out single.
With two starters on the disabled list, the Rockies called up White and left-hander Christian Friedrich to get them through this three-game series. White was one of four pitchers acquired from Cleveland for Ubaldo Jimenez on July 31.
White allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out five and walked two.
"I felt good," White said. "I was confident with all my pitches and throwing them where I wanted to. That was very good tonight, to get deep in the game. I know the bullpen's thrown a lot of innings. I just wanted to eat some innings and give us a chance late in the game."
White stayed in after being hit on the right ankle by Cameron Maybin's liner in the fifth.
"It was a little numb for a few seconds," he said. "But it felt fine. Then, my two-seamer got better later in the game than it was early."
NOTES: A foul ball hit by Venable in the seventh inning bounced into a fan's beer along the third-base line. Undaunted, the fan chugged the beer with the ball still in the cup. ... The Padres selected LHP Alex Hinshaw from Triple-A Tucson and optioned OF Blake Tekotte to the same club. They also transferred RHP Micah Owings from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Hinshaw had a 3.72 ERA in 14 relief outings for Tucson. ... Owings was placed on the DL on April 26 with a strained right forearm. He has a 2.79 ERA in six relief appearances. ... The series concludes Wednesday when Rockies LHP Christian Friedrich makes his big league debut. He went 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs. He was Colorado's first-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft. ... The Padres counter with Anthony Bass (1-3, 3.51). ... Padres C John Baker had his first career stolen base in the seventh and had another one in the eighth.