SAN DIEGO: At times, growth spurts have reminded doubters of Luis Perdomo’s potential. Growing pains simply continue to overshadow them in the jump from A-ball to the majors and Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado provided the latest lessons in this school of hard knocks.
Like, really hard knocks.
The first off Gonzalez’s bat landed 443 feet away from home plate in the first inning. Four frames later, Gonzalez roped his shot into the second deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building, closing the book on Perdomo’s second start of the season in the San Diego Padres’ 10-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday in front of 26,206 at Petco Park.
The Rule-5 right-hander struck out three, walked just one and handled the bottom of Colorado’s order with ease. Meantime, the top half managed runs in the first, third and fifth innings, Rockies right-hander Jon Gray was near untouchable from the start, Gonzalez added a second homer off Brandon Maurer in the ninth and the Padres missed out on a sweep for the sixth time this season.
Wil Myers provided the lone pressure on Gray, who was the second Rockies hurler to begin a game with five straight strikeouts. By the time Myers doubled in a run in the fourth and hit his 10th homer of the season in the sixth, the Rockies rookie was on his way to a career-high 12 strikeouts.
Gray scattered the two runs allowed on five hits and a walk over seven innings — also a career-high — in an effort that one-upped his last start at Petco Park: 11 strikeouts and two runs allowed in six innings in a loss.
Brett Wallace provided the Padres’ third run on a solo shot in the ninth, his fourth homer of the season.
Pressed into the rotation due to the James Shields trade a day earlier, Perdomo dispatched the Rockies’ 6-7-8 hitters in fewer than 10 pitches in the second and fourth innings. The mistakes around those breezy frames were too much to bear.
He allowed a leadoff double to Charlie Blackmon to extend his on-base streak to 31 games, erased him on a double-play ball and then hung an 88 mph change-up that the left-handed Gonzalez drilled into the batter’s eye with a base open following Arenado’s two-out double.
The exit speed? 111 mph.
The Rockies manufactured a run in the third before again knocking Perdomo around in the fifth, with Arenado providing another hard knock on a two-run homer that ended the pitcher’s night with six runs allowed on eight hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings in his second spot-start.
The good news?
The rookie right-hander — who was plucked in the Rule-5 draft by the Rockies, shipped to the Padres and must remain in the majors to remain San Diego property — threw 19 more pitches than he did in his first emergency start, a two-inning outing in which he allowed two runs against the Milwaukee Brewers last month.
“He’s got a live arm,” Norris said before Perdomo’s start. “That’s why they decided to keep him on the roster because they like the potential he can grow into as far as his future in the rotation. But it’s a growing process going from A-ball to the big leagues.
“I don’t know what I would have done a year after A-ball. It’s not an easy jump.”