SAN DIEGO (AP) Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer, Seth Lugo pitched seven strong innings in his first start for his new team and the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Sunday, salvaging a split of the four-game series after dropping the first two.
Bogaerts, a new fixture in the powerhouse Padres lineup, homered twice and drove in five runs on six hits in 13 at-bats in the season’s first four games. He has homered in two consecutive games.
“I felt like I missed some pitches in the first at-bat. It stayed up perfectly and my eyes lit up,” Bogaerts said of the pitch on his home run. “Evening up the series was good.”
The Padres set a new four-game series attendance record at Petco Park (174,915), which opened in 2004, with four consecutive sellouts to open the season.
Lugo (1-0) got out of an early jam in the first inning but then cruised for most of his remaining six innings, striking out seven while giving up four hits and one run.
“He has really been on a mission since the beginning of spring training as a starter to go out there and try to minimize his pitch count,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “First-pitch strikes, he didn’t walk anybody. He was able to go seven innings in his first outing as a starter after being a reliever - I wasn’t counting on that today.”
Lugo’s only blemish was giving up a home run in the seventh to Ryan McMahon for the Rockies' only run.
“It was a good start to the season,” Lugo said. “I was able to keep them off-balance and stayed with the game plan and it worked out for us.”
Trent Grisham hit a solo homer in the third inning followed two batters later by Bogaerts' two-run blast to left field for a 3-0 San Diego lead. Both came off Rockies starter Austin Gomber (0-1), who gave up four runs and three hits in six innings.
“He just looks really relaxed at the plate. It doesn't seem like there is any tension,” Melvin said of Grisham. “There is a good year in the offing for him.”
Padres reliever Josh Hader earned his first save of the season, tossing a scoreless ninth inning. Hader was assessed a ball on a clock violation during his outing.
The Rockies' C.J. Cron was 0 for 4 after going 7 for 11 with three home runs and seven RBIs in his first three games.
Padres slugger Juan Soto was hitless in three at-bats and was a assessed a strike on a time violation in the batter’s box in the first inning. Soto batted .071 (1 for 14) in the season’s first series.
Rockies: RHP Ryan Feltner makes his first start of the season on Monday night at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Padres: LHP Ryan Weathers takes the hill for his first start in 2023 on Monday night at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.