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COL@SD: Helton opens the scoring with an RBI single

SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Alex White showed that it was possible for a Rockies pitcher to go beyond the early innings of a game on Tuesday night. His 6 1/3 innings against the Padres at Petco Park were the most for a Rockies starter in six games.

But at a time when little is working out right, the Rockies lost their fifth straight, 3-1, in front of 17,478.

"I felt good," White said. "I was confident with all my pitches, putting the ball where I wanted to. My goal tonight was to get deep, because this bullpen had to throw a lot of innings."

White (0-1), making his season debut after being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs, held the Padres to two runs on six hits. White struck out five, and pitched 1 2/3 innings after being struck on the right ankle by a Cameron Maybin line drive in the fifth.

Will Venable tripled to open the first and scored on Yonder Alonso's single. Venable also had an RBI double in the fifth. That was it against White, but it was enough to give the Padres the victory.

It was, at least, small redemption for White. After being acquired as part of the deal that sent former Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians, White gave up 12 home runs in 36 1/3 innings during a late-season trial with the Rockies last year. White, in fairness, was coming off a middle finger injury.

This time, White stayed down in the strike zone.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't do enough offensively to win the game, because this is as good as I've seen Alex White since we acquired him," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He was really, really good."

A Rockies offense that put up runs, but had no help from its pitching while going 3-6 in the Rockies' most recent homestand, had its second straight anemic performance to begin an eight-game swing within the National League West.

The Rockies managed nine hits, three by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but only Todd Helton's two-out single in the first accounted for a run.

"It's tough," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "Offensively, we were really good at home and we didn't get any pitching. Now, it's tough for us to create runs and our pitching has stepped up. We've got to get those two things together, pitching and hitting."

The Rockies got a dose of bad luck in the ninth. After the Rockies put runners at the corners with one out while trailing 3-1, Jordan Pacheco hit a ball to the right side that appeared headed for a single. But the ball hit Marco Scutaro running to second base. Scutaro was called out, Pacheco was safe at first with a single and Tyler Colvin was forced to return to third base. Gonzalez then struck out against Padres closer Dale Thayer to end the game.

"That's one of the hottest hitters in the National League, their hottest hitter," Padres manager Bud Black said. "CarGo came out aggressive. Dale, hard fastball, hard slider, mixes in a change here and there. He climbed the ladder on him."

There were other chances. Ramon Hernandez flied to right to end the first with the bases loaded against Jeff Suppan (2-0), who gave up one run and four hits over five innings. Suppan made the pitches that counted.

"We should have scored more runs off that guy," Gonzalez said. "Every at-bat against him, he put me at 3-0. After that, every pitch was right on the corner, right on the border."

With two on and two out in the sixth, Padres reliever Joe Thatcher struck out Colvin -- who had entered the game with a .555 average against lefty pitching.

With first-and-third and two out in the eighth, Hernandez grounded up the middle but Padres shortstop Jason Bartlett ranged to the middle and flipped to second to Orlando Hudson to barely beat Michael Cuddyer. Hudson's one-out, RBI triple in the eighth opened a 3-1 cushion.

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