Vasquez struggles again as Padres fall flat in late innings to Rockies

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
The San Diego offense struggled against Colorado’s starter, Dakota Hudson, in the early innings of the 5-4 loss.

Padres right-hander Randy Vasquez got the start Monday night in San Diego and again he had no day at the beach.

Vasquez, who has yet to win a start, allowed five runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings as the Rockies held on for a 5-4 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.

Four of those runs came in the fourth inning, as inflating Vasquez’s ERA to 6.32 through 15.2 innings across four starts. However, the bullpen did not allow a single run after relieving Vasquez.

The San Diego offense struggled against Colorado starter Dakota Hudson. They also missed several opportunities to score, placing the tying run on third base in the last three innings — with the bases loaded in both the eighth and ninth.

The Padres racked up four hits — with two of them coming from rookie center fielder Jackson Merrill — and went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

The Padres (22-22) remain at second in the National League West, 6 1/2 games behind Los Angeles.

Here are three takeaways:

Merrill making mark

Half of San Diego’s hits came from Merrill, whose solo homer brought the Padres within a run in the seventh. After an incredible April, he has gotten more comfortable with his role and has only been improving as shown by his .745 OPS.

Merrill has been consistently showing the Padres he is willing to do anything to make the team better. The 21-year-old rookie is currently batting .291 with three home runs and 17 RBIs with six stolen bases.

11 Walks = Only 4 Runs

San Diego drew 11 walks, with eight of them coming after Merrill’s solo homer in the seventh inning. Yet the Padres could not score after and left nine runners on base in the loss.

With runners on first and second with nobody out in the seventh, Luis Arraez grounded into a double play, which was followed by a Fernando Tatis Jr. groundout. 

In the eighth, Luis Campusano lined to center to end the inning after three Padres walked to load the bases. With three walks given up by closer Jalen Beeks to load the bases with one out in the ninth, Manny Machado grounded into a game-ending double play. 

Profar pushing Padres

Jurickson Profar, the 31-year-old veteran outfielder, signed a $1 million, one-year contract with San Diego in February, and is on pace to be the team MVP. 

Profar is hitting .320 with seven homers, including a two-run homer Monday night. His batting average is seventh in the NL, his OPS is .919 and he also leads the team with 29 RBIs.

The series continues at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday with right-hander Dylan Cease (5-2, 2.19 ER) will face former Padre right-hander Cal Quantrill (2-3, 3.94).