By The Associated Press
DENVER — Former Ole Miss standout Drew Pomeranz became a different type of pitcher the past few weeks and paid the price.
The Colorado Rockies left-hander went back to his dominant fastball and was impressive through six innings, but took the loss as the San Diego Padres win 2-0 on Sunday.
“Our starting pitcher put on a clinic today on pitching effectively inside,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “He pounded the ball on the inside part of the plate with a four-seam fastball, and I figure he broke at least a half-dozen bats.”
That was a big difference for the 23-year-old Pomeranz, who was relying heavily on a cutter he couldn’t control with negative results. He went winless in his first five starts with a hefty 4.70 ERA.
“I don’t know how I became a cutter guy, but it took a trip to Colorado Springs to figure things out,” said Pomeranz, the key figure for the Rockies last July 31 in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland. “I think I did and it showed today. I actually pitched like myself.”
Pomeranz (0-3) turned in an impressive outing after being recalled from Triple-A before the game. He was sent to Colorado Springs on May 11 to work out kinks in his delivery, and for one start it seemed to pay off.
Pomeranz allowed an unearned run on two hits, walked three and struck out one. He worked out of a jam in the second inning and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.
“The game boiled down to we made a throwing run to give them a run and we gave up a two-out, two strike base hit,” Tracy said.
Denorfia led off with an infield single in the third inning to Chris Denorfia that got under the glove of third baseman Jordan Pacheco. Denorfia stole second and scored when Pacheco misplayed a soft popup and Pacheco complicated it by throwing wildly past first base.
The Padres added another run in the seventh. Alexi Amarista reached on a one-out single, advanced to second on a sacrifice and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Denorfia’s single to right to make it 2-0.
Kip Wells (1-1) allowed just six hits, walked two and struck out two in his longest outing since his last win — nearly three years ago. The Rockies failed to capitalize on a two-out triple by Dexter Fowler in the third inning and Tyler Colvin’s double with two outs in the fourth.
“He didn’t make mistakes over the plate and if you don’t make mistakes over the plate, you’ve got a chance,” Colorado outfielder Michael Cuddyer said.
The Padres signed Wells to a minor league contract May 7, and he was 1-4 with a 4.97 ERA in seven starts for Tucson. He was called up Tuesday and that night made his first big league start since Oct. 1, 2009, tossing five innings in a 5-3 loss to Houston.
Wells’ last win came Sept. 20, 2009, when he beat the Marlins 8-1 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He pitched seven innings of five-hit ball that day, and he was just as effective Sunday against the Rockies.
Huston Street, named to the NL All-Star team Sunday, pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his 12th save in as many chances.
The Rockies, who finished 9-18 in June, started July on a sour note. They were shut out for the fifth time this season and third time at home.
NOTES: Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was out of the lineup the same day he was named to his first All-Star team as a reserve. Gonzalez said he would be a participant in the home run derby. … The Rockies optioned RHP Guillermo Moscoso to Colorado Springs to make room for Pomeranz. … Colorado will send LHP Josh Outman (0-3) against the Cardinals when the Rockies open a series in St. Louis on Monday.