Klesko delivers knockout swing in sixth inning

DENVER (AP) -- There was Ryan Klesko's grand slam, a two-run
inning in which the ball never left the infield, and a botched
run-down that most Little Leaguers could execute.

The San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 12-2 on Friday
night in a telling display of all the differences between first and
last place in the NL West.

"When I wake up in the morning, I don't want to remember this
happening," Rockies starting pitcher Jamey Wright said.

Klesko's ninth career grand slam was the highlight for the
Padres, who extended their lead in the division to 5½ games over
Arizona and are guaranteed of heading into the All-Star break with
a winning record for just the ninth time in franchise history.

He took an 0-1 pitch off Byung-Hyun Kim to right-center field to
cap San Diego's six-run sixth inning and put the Padres ahead 10-2.
It was Klesko's first homer since June 22 and a nice start to the
series after he went 1-for-14 against the Astros in Houston.

"That's baseball," Klesko said. "I'm not going to spend a lot
of time trying to figure that out. I've really been smoking the
ball the last couple of weeks, and I've got nothing to show for

Klesko's slam, his first since August 27, 2002, secured the
second straight victory for Tim Stauffer (3-4), who pitched seven
innings, allowing five hits and two runs and striking out five.

Wright (5-9) gave up six runs in 5 1-3 innings for the Rockies,
who matched their most lopsided loss of the season and started
bumbling well before Klesko's homer turned the game into a laugher.

The Rockies were ahead 2-0 in the third inning when Brian Giles
doubled to score Dave Roberts. Todd Helton cut off the throw home
and trapped Giles between second and third, but third baseman
Garrett Atkins threw the ball into center field as Giles scored and
tie the game at 2.

The next batter, former Rockies pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney,
homered off Wright to make it 3-2 and San Diego piled it on from

Sweeney was Colorado's top pinch hitter in 2003 and 2004 but
left Denver after last season -- one of several veterans the Rockies
parted ways with to cut costs and begin a bona fide youth movement.

The youngsters took a step backward on this night, just one game
after Helton hit two homers, and became the franchise's all-time
home run leader, in a come-from-behind 8-5 win over the Dodgers.

In that game, Coors Field was abuzz. A day later, the excitement
was replaced by booing.

"Nobody likes to go out and get embarrassed," Colorado manager
Clint Hurdle said. "We didn't play well. We had a rough night at
the ballpark."

The Rockies committed two errors and failed to make a number of
plays in the infield. One of the many low points came in the
eighth, when reliever Dan Miceli allowed two runs on three infield
hits, a walk and a hit batter to make the score 12-2.

Meanwhile, Colorado's only offensive highlight came from a
player who probably won't be around much longer. Preston Wilson,
the subject of trade talks with the Washington Nationals among
other teams, hit a two-run homer in the first.

Klesko had two hits. His homer was his team-leading 14th of the
season and gave him 40 RBI. He also made a diving catch in left
field to steal a hit from Cory Sullivan to end the second inning.

Khalil Greene had two hits and two RBI for the Padres, who
finished with 14 hits.

"It's been a while since we won one like that," Padres manager
Bruce Bochy said.

Game notes
Kim replaced Bobby Seay, who left with inflammation of the
thumb on his throwing (left) hand. He'll have an MRI on Saturday.
... Giles has now reached base safely in 21 of the last 23 games.
... The Rockies hit two batters to bring their NL-leading total to
59. ... Desi Relaford went 0-for-4 and is now hitless in his last
26 plate appearances. ... The Padres have won their last five
against the Rockies.