DENVER (AP) — Daniel Descalso ruined San Diego’s perfect mark in the ninth inning and sent the Colorado Rockies to a wild win on a stormy night.
Descalso lined a game-winning, pinch-hit single off the center-field wall in the bottom of the ninth as the Rockies rallied past the Padres 8-7 on Friday.
DJ LeMahieu had three hits to raise his batting average to .349. He is tied with Washington’s Daniel Murphy for the lead in the NL batting race.
The Rockies trailed 7-5 entering the ninth against closer Brandon Maurer (0-5) after hail and rain in the top of the inning forced a 38-minute delay. Colorado appeared destined to lose its fourth straight game overall against a team that entered 50-0 when leading after eight innings.
“They’ve been a team that hasn’t blown any leads coming into tonight going into the ninth,” Descalso said. “Their bullpen’s been pretty good. To come out after a rain delay and get the comeback win, hats off to our offense.”
LeMahieu started the comeback with a one-out double and Carlos Gonzalez singled him home one out later. Pinch-hitter David Dahl and Nick Hundley each fell behind Maurer 0-2 but recovered and singled to left to tie it.
Descalso worked the count full before lining a fastball over the head of Travis Jankowski to score Dahl from third.
“It might be the only single off the wall I’ve ever hit,” Descalso said. “I felt like he was kind of nibbling a little bit, trying not to make a mistake. Once he got to 3-2, I told myself to be ready for something over the plate.”
Adam Ottavino (1-2) got one out for the win.
The game was delayed in the top of the ninth after a strong storm quickly blew through. Lightning flashed in the sky in the eighth inning before hail peppered the stadium in the top of the ninth, sending players and fans running for cover.
“I never saw anything like that in my life,” Padres first baseman Wil Myers said. “It didn’t hurt terribly but it didn’t feel good.”
It gave Colorado time to regroup and end a three-game losing streak.
“Too many sliders left over the middle of the plate and over the outer third,” Padres manager Andy Green said.
Myers and Luis Sardinas homered for San Diego.
The Padres were playing a day after Major League Baseball suspended general manager A.J. Preller for 30 days without pay for failing to disclose medical information when pitcher Drew Pomeranz was traded to the Boston Red Sox in July.
Green said before Friday’s game the suspension has been tough on him.
“It has been hard over the last couple of days,” Green said. “The people I care about on a personal level that I respect immensely are having their names dragged through the mud right now.”
Green said he was never alerted to any medical issue with regard to Pomeranz that would have prevented him from pitching.
“He made 17 starts for us and threw 18 times. He never missed a start. Never missed a throwing session between starts,” Green said. “There was never a point in time when (pitching coach) Darren Balsley came to me and said, ‘Hey you need to be worried about Drew Pomeranz.’ Never did my trainers say anything about being concerned about Drew Pomeranz.”
The Padres took control early Friday but couldn’t hold on. Myers hit a two-run homer in the first, his 25th, to get them on the board. After Colorado four-run second, San Diego responded with a three-run third to take a 5-4 lead.
The Padres added a run in the fifth and Sardinas led off the sixth with a homer off starter Tyler Chatwood.
Chatwood had two hits, including an RBI single in the second, but continued to struggle at home.
LeMahieu has reached base in 32 straight games.
Padres: INF Yangervis Solarte was sent home to deal with a family issue.
The Padres will send RHP Edwin Jackson (4-5, 5.32) to the mound against Rockies rookie RHP Jon Gray (9-8, 4.69) on Saturday.
Michael Kelly is a reporter for the Associated Press.