In a 24-hour span, Andres Galarraga showed why he has an excellent chance to repeat as the National League leader in home runs and runs batted in.
Galarraga hit his second three-run homer in two games, helping the Colorado Rockies to an 8-4 victory over the sinking San Diego Padres on Thursday.
Galarraga is the easy leader in the RBIs race with 77 and is tied with teammate Larry Walker and Houston’s Jeff Bagwell with 20 homers. Last year he led the league with 47 homers and 150 RBIs, both career highs.
“He’s been able to pick those RBIs up, and three-run homers have been a key with him,” Colorado Manager Don Baylor said.
Galarraga’s shot to right field with two outs in the third capped a five-run inning that gave Colorado a 5-2 lead.
On Wednesday in Denver, Galarraga’s three-run homer in the ninth off John Wetteland forged a 9-9 tie, and the Rockies went on to beat Texas, 10-9.
Walker also drove in three runs. His two-for-five effort actually dropped his average a point to .416. The Rockies have won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game streak May 31-June 2.
“With [Galarraga] hitting behind me, I’m getting good pitches to hit,” Walker said. “I wouldn’t want to pitch to him. If I’m a pitcher, I’d rather pitch to me. He’s so intimidating when he steps into the box. Try to go after someone who doesn’t look as intimidating.”
The Padres have lost five consecutive games--they dropped two to Oakland and two to Texas in interleague play--and 11 of 14. They’ve also lost 10 of 12 at home.
“The losing wears on you, it gets old,” Manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s getting real frustrating. After winning the National League West last year, this is the last place we thought we’d be.”
Danny Jackson (1-4), acquired Friday in the trade that sent Fernando Valenzuela to St. Louis, gave up six runs, three earned, on eight hits in six innings. He has given up three homers in his two starts with San Diego.
Roger Bailey (8-5) won his third start in a row, giving up four runs on eight hits in six innings, walking four and striking out one.
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Next Series for Dodgers
WHO: Colorado Rockies
WHERE: Dodger Stadium
WHEN: Monday: 7 p.m., Tuesday: 7 p.m., Wednesday: 7:30 p.m.