Wells tosses 7 strong as Padres beat Rockies 2-0
DENVER (AP) — Kip Wells is showing he may have another chapter left in his baseball career.
Wells tossed seven strong innings for his first win in nearly three years, Chris Denorfia and Alexi Amarista had two hits apiece and the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 2-0 on Sunday.
“He proved he can get it done,” closer Huston Street said. “It’s tough to throw a better outing.”
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.
Wells (1-1) allowed just six hits, walked two and struck out two in his longest outing since his last win.
It has been a nomadic baseball life for Wells since the end of the 2009 season. He was signed to minor league deals by three teams and released each time. He also played for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.
“I wasn’t sure I’d have a chance to pitch,” Wells said. “Professional baseball over the last few years has been a challenge. Getting back is an accomplishment for me, but not winning is not going to hold much weight.”
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.
“He came with the same stuff as five days ago,” manager Bud Black said. “Today the results were better.”
Colorado never put pressure on the former Rockies pitcher.
“He didn’t overpower us,” Michael Cuddyer said. “He didn’t make mistakes over the plate, and if you don’t make mistakes over the plate, you’ve got a chance.”
The Padres gave Wells a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Denorfia led off with a single, stole second and scored on a throwing error by third baseman Jordan Pacheco.
The Padres added another run in the seventh. 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.
The bullpen and defense helped keep it that way.
“The defense played great behind me, I got balls hit to people when I needed to,” Wells said. “When I gave up extra-base hits there were usually two outs so I could work around it.”
Street, named to the NL All-Star team Sunday, pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his 12th save in as many chances. The former Rockies closer said he was happy to get the news while in Colorado.
“Finding out here, at Coors Field, meant a lot to me,” he said. “I got a lot of friends on the Rockies, so I got to shake some hands and get some hugs.”
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, wasting a strong performance from starter Drew Pomeranz.
Pomeranz (0-3) turned in an impressive outing after being recalled from Triple-A before the game. The lefty was sent to Colorado Springs on May 11 to work out kinks in his delivery, and for one start it seemed to pay off.
“I was more excited to get out there and actually pitch like myself,” he said. “I wasn’t out there cutting the ball. It is a lot different.”
Pomeranz allowed an unearned run on two hits, walked three and struck out one in six innings. He worked out of a jam in the second inning and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.
He didn’t allow a hit after Denorfia’s leadoff single in the third.
“Our starting pitcher put on a clinic today on pitching effectively inside,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “I don’t know how many at-bats he broke. I would say at least a half dozen.”
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. … The Rockies optioned RHP Guillermo Moscoso to Colorado Springs to make room for Pomeranz. … The Padres RHP Clayton Richard (5-8) will start the series opener at Arizona on Monday. … Colorado will send LHP Josh Outman (0-3) against the Cardinals when the Rockies open a series in St. Louis on Monday.
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