Manny Machado’s ankle injury turned what at the start of the day seemed a worst-case scenario into a secondary concern.
That didn’t make it any less ugly that the Padres on Sunday lost their 10th straight game at Coors Field and fifth straight game to the Rockies, who are in last place in the NL West.
On their way to the 8-3 defeat, the Padres scored first for the first time in the series — on Luke Voit’s second-inning homer — and then did not score again until after they trailed 8-1.
The Padres arrived here Thursday night with a winning road trip already secured and having just moved into first place in the National League West after scoring 41 runs in a four-game sweep of the Cubs.
They have not won since. In three games at the major leagues’ most offense-friendly ballpark, they scored a total of 11 runs. They were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position Sunday and 5-for-28 in the series.
“We had plenty of opportunities the whole series to cash in,” Voit said.
Even with Machado, who was 3-for-9 with a double and a homer in the series, the Padres of the past three days would have had trouble coming back from the 8-1 hole they found themselves in after the Rockies scored five runs in the fifth (four charged to starter Blake Snell and one to Steven Wilson), one in the sixth on Randall Grichuk’s home run off Adrian Morejón and one in the seventh when Craig Stammen issued a bases-loaded walk.
The Padres’ final two runs came on Austin Nola’s two-run homer with two outs in the eighth.
“Frustrating after sweeping the Cubes,” Voit said. “Obviously wanted to come in here and at least take two of three.”
The Padres, who went from a half-game ahead of the Dodgers earlier in the weekend to a half-game behind, begin a seven-game homestand Monday, with three games against the Diamondbacks (32-36) and four against the Phillies ( 36-32).
“This is a tough one to get swept,” Eric Hosmer said. “Haven’t been playing here really well as of late. But we just kind of flush it out, move on, and we’ve got three big games against Arizona.”
Things looked up ever-so-slightly and ever-so-briefly when Voit — the first Padres batter after Machado went down while making the final out of the first inning — led off the second inning with a home run to give the Padres a 1 -0 lead.
It was Voit’s eighth home run of the season, four behind Machado’s team-leading total. Voit’s double in the eighth inning was his 12th extra-base hit in the past 11 games.
Voit is batting .294 with a .949 OPS over his past 20 games (92 plate appearances) and knows the importance of his continuing to slug with Machado expected to be out for an extended period.
“I’m gonna do everything I can to keep doing what I’ve been doing and just be myself — not turn into something different,” he said.
As Coors Field starts go, Snell arguably did his job.
“He did good enough to give us a chance to win that game,” acting manager Ryan Flaherty said after Snell was charged with five runs (four earned) in 4 2/3 innings.
Snell, who a week earlier at Petco Park held the Rockies to two runs over six innings, began strong Sunday. He retired the Rockies in order on eight pitches in the first inning before an unearned run scored in the second on a single, a passed ball, a fly ball out and another single.
He also walked a batter in the second, another in the third and another in the fourth. But he didn’t get in trouble until the fifth.
Garrett Hampson’s triple and Snell’s fourth walk of the game came with one out. Brendan Rodgers’ single put the Rockies up 2-1 before Snell struck out Charlie Blackmon. A single by CJ Cron made it 3-1 and prompted Flaherty to bring in Steven Wilson.
Wilson surrendered a three-run homer to Randal Grichuk, with two of the runs being charged to Snell.
It was the walks that bothered Snell. Again. He has issued 17 of them in his six starts.
“The walks gotta get limited,” Snell said. “Outside of that, the contact, they didn’t hit the ball hard. Limit the walks, I’ll be fine.”