The Colorado Rockies gutted it-out through 9 nerve-wracking innings of west coast baseball and ran their road record to 4-0 with a 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at AT&T Park in the City by the Bay. Eddie Butler (1-0, 1.64) stumbled through 5-1/3 innings and the bullpen handled the balance, with Rafael Betancourt nailing down the win with a 1-2-3 9th. Betancourt stood-in for nominal closer LaTroy Hawkins, the sole ‘pen performer to-date to be ineffective.
The Rockies got the winning run in the 4th. Charlie Blackmon singled and moved-up on a dribbled ground ball to 1st by Carlos Gonzalez. Troy Tulowitzki continued his clutch hitting with a line-single to left, Blackmon scoring from 2nd. They logged their second run in the 7th when catcher Nick Hundley, who’s hitting .333, doubled with 2 out. DJ LeMahieu, who had another 3 for 4 outing to raise his batting average to .517, singled Hundley to 3rd, and then, with Rafael Ynoa pinch-hitting, Giants starter Chris Heston (1-1, 0.69) uncorked a wild pitch. Hundley broke for home, and appeared to be clearly out, however Heston had dropped Buster Posey’s throw on the tag, and after a replay review, the run counted.
Butler, meanwhile, despite himself wended his way into the 6th. He worked out of bases-loaded situations in the 1st and 2nd, dealt with 2-on in the 3rd, and walked 6 hitters, 2 in the 2nd and one each in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. Brooks Brown shut-down the Giants with that walk aboard in the 6th, then Christian Friedrich was perfect in the 7th, Boone Logan worked around an HBP in the 8th, and Betancourt closed it-out in the 9th, striking-out Nori Aoki and Joe Panik and getting a fly ball to left from Angel Pagan.
Game 2 of the 3-game set is tonight at AT&T. Christian Bergman stands-in for Colorado while Jorge De La Rosa takes one more rehab start in AAA. Veteran Tim Hudson gets the ball for SF. It’s back to night baseball; game time is 8:15 MDT.