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MLB: Helton's HR, combo 2-hitter send Rockies over SD

By Bernie Wilson

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, April 14 2013 7:09 p.m. MDT

Colorado Rockies' Michael Cuddyer (3) congratulates Rockies' Todd Helton, left, for hitting a pinch-hit, two-run home run against the San Diego Padres in the seventh inning during a baseball game Sunday, April 14, 2013, in San Diego.

Alex Gallardo, Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Todd Helton had a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the seventh inning and Jorge De La Rosa and three relievers combined on a two-hitter to carry the Colorado Rockies to a 2-1 victory Sunday against San Diego, their second three-game sweep of the Padres this season.

Colorado also swept San Diego at Coors Field last weekend.

Helton's homer off Dale Thayer broke a scoreless tie. The ball bounced off the top of the new right-field fence, which was moved in 11 feet, went over the Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Deck and into the seats. It was Helton's first homer this season and his third career pinch homer. It was his ninth shot at Petco Park, tying him with Justin Upton for the most by a visiting player.

The Rockies have hit 11 homers in six games against the Padres this season.

Lefty Clayton Richard shut out the Rockies on two hits in six innings before making way for Thayer (0-1) starting the seventh. Thayer issued a leadoff walk to Chris Nelson, who moved up on a sacrifice by Yorvit Torrealba. Helton, pinch-hitting for De La Rosa, homered on a 2-1 pitch.

De La Rosa (1-1) held the Padres scoreless on two hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked two. He threw 92 pitches, extending the Rockies' streak of consecutive games without a 100-pitch start to 114.

Rafael Betancourt pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances. He walked the first two batters and allowed a sacrifice fly by Jedd Gyorko. Betancourt struck out Nick Hundley with a runner on second to end it.

After Gyorko drew a walk from De La Rosa with one out in the fourth, Rockies pitchers retired 14 straight Padres batters until Everth Cabrera walked leading off the ninth.

Richard got out of a jam in the sixth, when he retired Josh Rutledge with runners on second and third. But it was his 104th pitch and he didn't get the chance to become the first Padres starter to pitch into the seventh this season. Richard struck out four and walked four.

NOTES: Padres slugger Carlos Quentin dropped his appeal and began serving an eight-game suspension for rushing the mound and inciting a brawl in which Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke broke his left collarbone. That means Quentin will miss the Padres' three-game series at Dodger Stadium beginning Monday night. Quentin also was fined $3,000. ... With the need for an outfielder, the Padres recalled Kyle Blanks and optioned RHP Thad Weber to Triple-A Tucson. ... De La Rosa's three starts match his total from last year after he returned from reconstructive elbow surgery. ... Going into Helton's at-bat, Thayer had not allowed a hit in 19 at-bats dating to his final appearance of 2012.

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