SAN DIEGO -- Two National League West teams headed in opposite directions since the All-Star break continued to separate themselves Tuesday night at Petco Park.
With Cuban import Odrisamer Despaigne shutting out the Rockies on five hits over seven innings, the San Diego Padres defeated Colorado 4-1.
The Padres' fourth straight win raised their record since the All-Star break to a National League-best 15-8 and pulled them to within six games of .500 for the first time since June 4. The Rockies, meanwhile, are 6-18 since the break and now own the worst record in the major leagues at 46-73.
"We've got to focus on putting a total game together, putting together nine innings," said manager Walt Weiss after his Rockies fell to 2-10 over their last 12 games. "That's been tough to do."
Meanwhile, the Padres, who established a franchise record Tuesday, are 9-1 over their last 10 games at Petco Park -- although they might have lost a second player to the disabled list Tuesday.
On the same day that shortstop Everth Cabrera returned to the disabled list with a second left hamstring strain in a span of six weeks, first baseman Yonder Alonso was forced out of the game with a left forearm strain suffered while preparing to hit in the third inning.
Alonso, who had an MRI Tuesday night, was hitting .421 (16-for-38) since returning to the Padres lineup July 26 after missing 32 games with tendinitis in his right wrist.
For the first time in Padres history, seven Latin American players were in the starting lineup Tuesday -- Cubans Despaigne, Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal; right fielder Rymer Liriano and center fielder Abraham Almonte from the Dominican Republic, and third baseman-left fielder Yangervis Solarte and shortstop Alexi Amarista of Venezuela.
Five had a hand in the Padres' first two runs against Rockies rookie left-hander Yohan Flande (0-5), with Alonso and Liriano scoring the runs on RBI outs by Almonte and Amarista with a pair of singles by Grandal moving the runs into scoring position.
Third baseman Chris Nelson doubled the Padres' production with a two-run single in the eighth off Rockies right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnie -- in the same inning that he made a sensational catch of a foul pop while somersaulting into the stands behind third.
"That was cool," Nelson said of the standing ovation he got from Padres fans for making the catch. "But the two-run single was definitely the highlight of the night."
The actual highlight of the night was the effort by the 27-year-old Despaigne (3-3), who also issued two walks while striking out eight in his ninth major league start.
After going 2-1 with a 1.31 earned-run average in his first five major league starts, Despaigne was 0-2 and had allowed 15 runs (12 earned) on 23 hits in 15 innings in his three starts previous to Tuesday.
"That's more like what we saw earlier," Padres manager Bud Black said of Despaigne. "He had a much better fastball and it set up his other pitches. His fastball had some movement. He went out and executed.
"He got back to using his stuff rather than deception."
"It was different tonight," said Despaigne through an interpreter. "I had better command with my fastball. "I tried to be aggressive with my fastball. It was a lot better than in my last two outings. And threw breaking balls for strikes off my fastball."
The only thing that stood between the Rockies and a shutout was left fielder Corey Dickerson, who hit a one-out solo homer in the ninth off Padres right-handed reliever Dale Thayer. It was Dickerson's third homer in as many games.
The Padres built a 2-0 lead with runs in the second and fourth against left-handed Rockies starter Yohan Flande (0-5).
Alonso drew a one-out walk in the second, moved to third on singles by Grandal and Almonte and scored on Amarista's high hopper to second.
Liriano used his speed to round the bases in the fourth. In his second game, Liriano got his first major league hit on an infield single to second off Flande's glove. Liriano raced to third on Grandal's hit-and-run single to right and scored on Almonte's sacrifice fly to left.
NOTES: The Padres placed SS Everth Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury. It is the second time in less than six weeks that Cabrera has gone on the disabled list with the same injury. ... 1B-3B Jake Goebbert was recalled from Triple-A El Paso to take Cabrera's spot on the 25-man roster. ... Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki (left hip flexor strain) and LF Carlos Gonzalez (left knee tendinitis/right ankle sprain) will have their injuries re-evaluated in Denver on Wednesday. ... LHP Brett Anderson will have surgery Thursday to repair a disk in his lower back.