DENVER -- The dark clouds over Coors Field waited just long enough for the Padres to produce a late-inning outburst before the downpour began. And when play resumed after a 56-minute delay, a Rockies rally was nowhere to be found in the club's 6-1 series-opening loss to the Padres on Monday night.
With the D-backs also topping the Marlins, 9-1, the Rockies dropped to last place in the National League West for the first time since the second game of the season.
Tyler Matzek tap-danced his way out of trouble all evening before surrendering back-to-back doubles, to Tommy Medica and Rene Rivera with one out in the sixth. With a newfound 2-1 lead, Cameron Maybin sent a 3-0 Matzek fastball to the deepest corner of left field. As the ball continued to carry, Corey Dickerson called off Drew Stubbs but failed to wrangle in the ball before it hopped over the fence for a run-scoring ground-rule double.
"Nobody was calling it, so I called it," Dickerson said. "I could have come close to getting that, but it was a long run and a difficult play. ... If I took a better angle, I still would have had to jump or dive or something."
Things would not get much better for Matzek, who began the seventh down, 3-1. Chris Denorfia followed Ian Kennedy's five-pitch walk with a single up the middle to put an end to Matzek's night two batters into the frame.
"That young fella, that's the first time we've seen him, and he had a little more life on the fastball than we'd heard," Padres manager Bud Black said of Matzek. "He beat us on the fastball a few times. But as the game went on, we were a little more aware of his stuff."
Matzek had shown improved fastball command in his past two outings, but on Monday he tried to be too precise, and it got the best of him.
"I just kept falling behind guys," Matzek said. "I was trying to pick corners and being a little too fine."
Five days after serving up the go-ahead homer just two pitches into relieving Matzek's previous start, Matt Belisle again failed to bail him out. Belisle's appearance began with a two-run triple by Chase Headley, and Carlos Quentin tacked on another with a sacrifice fly to center.
Before erupting for five runs in two innings, the Padres scraped across the first run of the game on another sacrifice fly, when Brooks Conrad drove in Headley in the fourth. But it took only three pitches for Stubbs to answer with a home run to left field in the bottom of the frame.
Matzek was in line for his third straight quality start before Belisle welcomed home both inherited runners. Overall, the Padres got to Matzek for eight hits and five earned runs in the sixth start of his Major League career.
Matzek recorded four strikeouts against four walks, but manager Walt Weiss was most impressed with the way his young pitcher did not let some command issues compound early on.
"He's got enough stuff to navigate some tough situations," Weiss said. "There's a lot to like about Tyler. He was throwing the ball extremely well up until that point where he ran into trouble." Entering the game, Kennedy had allowed more than three runs only once in his seven career starts at Coors Field. He did not disappoint on Monday, either, registering nine strikeouts over seven innings of one-run ball.
"Kennedy was good when we saw him in San Diego, but he was even better tonight," Weiss said. "He could go get 95 [mph] when he needed it, and he's always had a good changeup. … He had his A-stuff tonight."
With the Rockies dropping 18 of their past 21, Weiss knows a turnaround must happen soon.
"We can't continue to lose series," Weiss said. "Little by little, we're getting some guys back, but the bottom line is we've got to start winning some series."
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.