Colorado righted their ship salvaging a split of the four-game home series versus San Diego in a 2-1 triumph. Jordan Lyles nearly went seven innings but settled for 6.2 IP on 96 pitches. The only run scored off Lyles came on Yonder Alonso’s (nobody was able to get him out all week) two-out single to bring home Matt Kemp.
In the seventh, Lyles issued his second walk of the game with two outs to a sub-Mendoza hitter, Alexi Amarista, pushing Alonso into scoring position. Bud Black pulled Will Nieves for pinch hitter Justin Upton. Walt Weiss countered with Scott Oberg – yes that same guy that gave up three HRs at Dodgers Stadium – for one batter. Flying to Tacoma Sunday and coming back yesterday without throwing a pitch for Albuquerque did wonders for him as he struck out Upton to end the threat.
The Rockies can thank Black for making a critical decision that benefited the Rockies in the fifth inning. Starter Tyson Ross had already thrown over 90 pitches after just four innings. With one out and runner on first base, Black elected to let Ross continue the game by letting him bat. A double play ended the threat just like that. Then Ross, running low on gas, promptly gave up a game-winning homer to Corey Dickerson leading off the bottom of the inning.
Rafael Betancourt held the Padres in check in the eighth with three popups sandwiched around a Corey Spangenburg double. John Axford picked up his second save of the season despite walking Yonder Alonso, who had a perfect day at the plate, with two strikeouts to end the game.
It was an important win for many reasons. The San Diego series was salvaged as the Rockies improved to 0-1-1 in series play at Coors Field. They also got right back in the thick of the NL West race. With San Francisco’s sweep of the vaunted Dodgers, Colorado (9-7) crept back to within a half game of co-leaders San Diego (10-7) and Los Angeles (9-6). San Francisco is coming to Coors Field for a three-game set over the weekend. They will once again miss MadBum as he pitched Wednesday night.