insist they're not feeling the squeeze as the NL wild-card race tightens around them.
''We control our destiny still,'' shortstop
said after the Rockies' 5-4 loss to the
San Diego Padres
on Thursday night trimmed their lead to 3 1/2 games over idle Atlanta. ''I think we're in a good spot.''
San Francisco had a chance to pull within three games of Colorado but lost 3-2 to the
on former Rockies infielder-outfielder
's two-run homer in the ninth. The Giants remain four games back.
''Obviously, it would have been good to win tonight to put some more pressure on them,'' Tulowitzki said. ''But we control
it. If we win some games, we're going to win it.''
Next up for the Rockies are the St. Louis Cardinals, a possible first-round playoff opponent. The Cardinals begin a weekend
series at Coors Field on Friday night that features the return of slugger
for the first time since his trade to Oakland last winter.
Two of the players the Rockies got in return - closer
- have played major roles in the Rockies' playoff push. Holliday was dealt to the Cardinals this summer and helped them take
command of the NL Central.
The Cardinals are bringing their cases of champagne in hopes of clinching a playoff spot this weekend. The Rockies insist
they'll have their own celebration soon.
The Padres, however, played as though they were the ones in a playoff race, winning two of three in Colorado.
''It's big for this young club,'' infielder
said. ''We are a club that wants to shoot for those clubs and be there next year.''
homered to start the comeback from a 3-0 deficit courtesy of Tulowitzki's 30th homer on Thursday night and then drove in the
tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single off
(1-6) took the loss for Colorado, allowing one run while getting just two outs, and
(3-1) retired the only batter he faced to pick up the win. Rookie right-hander
got five outs for his first career save in six chances.
Tulowitzki gave the Rockies an early 3-0 lead with a three-run homer off
in the first inning, but Colorado's bats went silent after that.
, who is 68-39 since taking over in May, said he had no regrets over letting starting pitcher
hit for himself with two outs in the sixth and runners at second and third with Colorado clinging to a 3-1 lead.
Nor did Tracy rue his decision to pull Hammel after he faced just two batters the next inning even though he had thrown just
87 pitches. Tracy said it made the most sense with the hitters who were coming up and the relievers he had at the ready.
, however, threw 11 balls and just four strikes, giving up a bloop single and walking to batters, including one with the bases
loaded to send home a run and make it 3-2.
came in and surrendered a sacrifice fly to
that tied it before Beimel got the final out.
In the eighth, Hundley broke the tie with an RBI single off Betancourt, stole second base - TV replays show he should have
been called out - and scored on
's single to make it 5-3.
The Rockies got a run back in the bottom half when
hit his 25th homer, off
with one out.
followed with a single and the Padres brought in Gregerson, who struck out pinch-hitters
Gregerson gave up a one-out single to
in the ninth but got
on a flyout to left and Tulowitzki to pop out to first base to end it.
Hammel, who allowed just two runs on six hits over 6 1-3 innings, was seeking to become the fifth Rockies starter to post
double-digit wins. His only mistake was a pitch that Hundley hit for his eight homer in the fifth, making it 3-1.
The Rockies have lost seven of 11 but Tracy said he's not concerned about his team's trajectory.
''The mathematics are totally in our favor,'' he said. ''If we can win a few baseball games, we're going to make it.''
NOTES: Richard allowed three runs, two of them earned, on seven hits in six innings. ...Tulowitzki is trying to become the
first SS in major league history to hit 25 or more homers and field .990.