The Padres' offense was every bit as much a storyline in the Rockies' 10-2 victory over San Diego at PETCO Park as the ninth-inning bullpen implosion that led to seven Colorado runs.
The Padres, who had but three hits, have scored the fewest runs in the Major Leagues this season (49) and their deficiency at the plate has manifested itself in many unnerving ways, though none bigger in that they have now gone 72 innings without a home run.
The last home run came on April 7 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, when first baseman Adrian Gonzalez homered. It's the Padres' longest streak without a long ball since they went 87 innings without a home run in 2005.
Brian Giles looked like he ran into a long ball Wednesday, when -- in the fifth inning of what was still a close game -- he jumped on a Mark Redman fastball and sent it high and far into the gap in right-center, only to have it bang off the scoreboard.
Giles ended up at third base with a triple, and that hit was enough to knot the score at 2, with Josh Bard racing home to tie the score in a game the Padres (8-7) trailed, 2-0, after two innings.
"You've got to realize where we play," said Giles, who after playing at PETCO Park since it opened in 2004 likely has become desensitized to the spacious ballpark that is built more for pitching than hitting.
"It's a big park. But you can't change your swing because of it. You're just glad that they're getting over their heads for doubles."
Except, of course, when you are playing defense, which the Padres seemed to be for an eternity in the ninth inning as the Rockies scored seven runs on six hits, lighting up Cla Meredith (one inning, four runs) and Glendon Rusch (one inning, three runs) in the process.
As for Germano, who began the season with 13 consecutive scoreless innings over a stretch in two blissful starts, he didn't have the command of his fastball that he had in both of his first two outings, though he still pitched well.
"Justin pitched great," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Like [Tuesday's starter Randy] Wolf, it took him an inning or two to get on track."
Germano (0-1), after allowing runs in each of the first two innings, didn't allow another run until the sixth inning, and that came when he ran a curveball in on the hands of Chris Iannetta, who fought the ball off, sending it down the right-field line and directly under the Rockies' bench in the bullpen.
Giles, as per stadium rules, had no other choice than to fetch the ball, which had settled under the bench, as Garrett Atkins, who had four hits, circled the bases. After retrieving the ball, Giles' throw home handcuffed catcher Bard, as Atkins slid in safe to make it a 3-2 lead.
"It's the rule, we have to dig it out," said Giles, who also had an RBI double in the third inning off Redman (2-1), who allowed all three hits and both runs in his five innings of work. "It got lodged under the bench, but we still had a play at the plate."
Germano, for his part, said that while he was happy to get through seven innings, he was displeased with the strike zone of plate umpire Bob Davidson.
"I think we got squeezed a little bit, but I was happy with the way I was able to turn it around and go seven innings. I wasn't happy with my fastball location."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less