Matzek is tough-luck loser as Rockies fall 1-0 to Padres; Morneau takes NL batting lead

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SAN DIEGO — The longest winning streak of Colorado's season is over at six games. Justin Morneau, however, is still on a roll.

Morneau had two hits in four at-bats to take over sole possession of the NL batting lead, but the Rockies lost 1-0 Monday night to the San Diego Padres and wasted a strong outing by Tyler Matzek.

"He did a great job," manager Walt Weiss said. "Especially getting through that sixth, with some traffic and making some pitches in a big part of the game. He's been real good for us."

Matzek (6-11) struck out eight in six innings. He allowed one run, four hits and three walks.

Eric Stults pitched effectively into the seventh inning, though, sending San Diego to its fifth straight win.

Stults (8-17), tied with Philadelphia right-hander A.J. Burnett for the major league lead in losses, scattered seven hits and a walk over 6 1-3 innings in beating the Rockies for the first time this season after two defeats.

Kevin Quackenbush worked the ninth for his sixth save.

San Diego went ahead in the first when Rene Rivera's double scored Jedd Gyorko, who walked. It was Rivera's fifth RBI and third double in four games.

"I was upset on the walk to Gyorko," Matzek said. "Walk a guy and then give up a hit on a 3-1 changeup. That can't happen and it obviously came back to hurt us in the end."

To open the eighth, Padres left fielder Tommy Medica misplayed Morneau's fly ball into a double, and Dale Thayer relieved Frank Garces. Thayer got Michael Cuddyer and Corey Dickerson to pop up and retired Michael McKenry on a fly to center.

Morneau lifted his batting average to .320, two points ahead of Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison.

"Don't get me wrong, if it works out that way it'll be nice," Morneau said about winning the batting title. "But for now it's kind of hard when you're watching the Dodgers play the Giants for the division (title). That's really where you want to be and in the end that's what it comes down to."

After DJ LeMahieu's one-out single in the seventh chased Stults, he was replaced by Nick Vincent. Pinch-hitter Drew Stubbs struck out and, after Charlie Blackmon singled, Vincent retired Josh Rutledge on a fly to right.

The Rockies had an opportunity in the fifth inning when Blackmon walked with two outs to load the bases, following singles by Rafael Ynoa and LeMahieu. Stults struck out Rutledge on one his quickest fastballs, at 90 mph, to retire the side.

Stults wiggled out of trouble in the second after giving up one-out singles to Dickerson and McKenry. Ynoa popped up and LeMahieu struck out.

"Yeah, we couldn't cash in," Weiss said. "We had a couple of opportunities but Stults has been tough on us."

NOT SO SWEET 16

It marked the 16th time in franchise history that the Rockies lost a 1-0 game, and the first since July 13 last season when the Dodgers beat them in Los Angeles. Of those 1-0 defeats, 13 have come on the road.

UP NEXT

Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa (14-11, 4.61 ERA) will tie a career high Tuesday when he makes his 32nd start of the season, his second straight year with at least 30. He'll face Padres LHP Robbie Erlin (4-4, 4.53), who is looking for his second consecutive win as he makes his second start since May 17 at Colorado.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RHP Tyson Ross, bothered by a sore right forearm, won't pitch again this year. His last start came at Arizona on Sept. 13 when he gave up six runs (four earned) and five hits in three innings.

HOME SWEET HOME

With the win, the Padres tied their best showing at Petco Park with 47 victories. That matches the standard set by the 2007 club. The Padres will end their home schedule on Wednesday, after two more games with the Rockies.

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