SAN DIEGO -- The sight of 36-year-old Mark Kotsay trudging up the first base line on Friday night for an infield single sent the Padres dugout into a collective tizzy, as some players took to serenading him after he finally arrived at the bag, a smile stuck on his face.
It might have taken four months, the but Padres' offense is no longer a laughing matter, not as their blissful run in July rolled on with a 9-5 victory over the Rockies before a crowd of 25,507 at Petco Park.
The Padres (40-55), winners of their last four games, improved to 11-5 in July by scoring seven or more runs for the seventh time this month. Truth be told, reaching seven wasn't much of an issue in the first game of the series against the Rockies.
The Padres had seven runs by the end of the third inning, though they had a few anxious moments on an unusually warm night that allowed the ball to carry well at their spacious downtown ballpark, even after dusk, when the thick marine layer typically settles over the field.
The Padres made three errors and relied heavily on their bullpen, but the offense made up for any of their shortcomings, as Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley and Yasmani Grandal each hit home runs to key a 13-hit attack.
"When teams win, they win in a lot of different ways," said Padres manager Bud Black.
Lately, though, it's been the offense that has served them well.
Suddenly, those dreary days of April seem distant, or at least they do to hitting coach Phil Plantier.
"The at-bats are better and I see guys up there with a plan and a commitment to sticking with it," said Plantier. "And if they have to make an adjustment, they've been able to do that pitch-to-pitch."
Quentin had a home run to start the second inning and Chris Denorfia added a two-run triple as part of a four-run third inning off Rockies pitcher Drew Pomeranz (1-5), who allowed seven runs in three innings.
"Right now, winning is just a part of our game," said Grandal, who has hit five home runs since he was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on June 30. "We ended up the first half good and we started the second half good. Right now, we've got a winning mentality, and it seems like we go out there to win.
"We're playing hard, and that's something we can keep doing."
San Diego starter Jason Marquis (3-5) was staked to a 3-0 lead after two innings, but then gave all of it back -- and more -- in the third inning when he allowed a Carlos Gonzalez grand slam.
In all fairness to Marquis, two of the runs he allowed were unearned, as a fielding error by second baseman Logan Forsythe extended the inning long enough so that Gonzalez had a chance to hit with the bases loaded.
The result? An opposite-field grand slam that gave the Rockies (35-57) a 4-3 lead. But it didn't last long.
Marquis managed to get through five innings, allowing five runs -- three earned -- on nine hits, as he won for the second time in as many starts.
From there, five relievers -- Brad Brach, Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher and Huston Street -- combined for four scoreless innings, allowing one hit between them.
Thatcher entered the game in the eighth inning with two on and two outs and the Padres leading 7-5. The Rockies went to their bench for lefty Jason Giambi, who struck out on a slider to end the inning.
But the story of the game -- again -- was the resurgent offense, one that has plenty of players who were not around for the slow start to the season, like Forsythe, Alexi Amarista, Quentin and, of course, Grandal, who continues to impress in his first month in the big leagues.
Grandal had two hits Friday to raise his average to .288. Quentin had three hits and three more players added two hits.
"Can't say enough about the job Yaz has done since he's come up," Quentin said. "It's been great -- driving the ball with guys in scoring position, Logan's been great at the top of the lineup and so has Amarista. They're both giving quality at-bats, causing havoc. Just a lot of quality at-bats."