DENVER -- Rockies utility infielder Jonathan Herrera hit an opposite-field home run and doubled Wednesday in his third start of the season, an 8-4 victory over the Padres on Wednesday night.
Manager Jim Tracy started Herrera at second base because Marco Scutaro moved to shortstop in place of Troy Tulowitzki, who sat for the first time this season and is slumping with a .244 batting average and six errors.
Tracy often takes criticism for starting reserves. Usually, the issue comes to light on Sundays, when the Rockies have struggled on that day since the start of last season. However, Tracy doesn't apologize for the occasional start for players who usually enter late in games, and Herrera is part of that crew.
Tracy took heavy criticism for sitting Scutaro, Dexter Fowler, Todd Helton and Carlos Gonzalez (who was out with strep throat) on Sunday in a loss to the D-backs. But it wasn't the fault of Herrera, who went 3-for-4 and scored a run.
Herrera followed up with a big night Wednesday.
"You hear so much about, 'Why are you resting this guy or that guy?'" Tracy said. "We're not just putting another player in the lineup. We're putting a very good player out there. If you get him some time, whether it's coming off the bench or picking a guy up to give a guy a break. He's had five hits the last two games that he's played. That's a guy you're not the least bit hesitant about penciling into the lineup."