The Colorado Rockies take the series win on the first leg of the three-city road trip. They won the first game Tuesday before postponing the game Wednesday night making it a day-night doubleheader Thursday. They won the day game before getting shut out 2-0 in the night cap. They are still atop the NL West division with a 26-16 record.
Kyle Freeland started the game on Tuesday and struggled in the early going. Somehow he limited the damage to three runs over six innings. The Rockies struck first in the second inning when Tony Wolters had an RBI grounder to get the first run and @Chuck_Nazty followed with a RBI single for a 2-0 lead. But the Twins came right back in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own. Minnesota was threatening to add on but Freeland kept the game tied at 2-2 after two innings. Gerardo Parra and Byron Buxton traded solo blasts in the fourth inning. The Rockies put the game away in the sixth with four runs capped by @Chuck_Nazty towering two-run dinger. Freeland settled down earn a quality start going six innings giving up five hits and four free passes.
Wednesday’s game was postponed and was made up Thursday night following the regularly schedule day game. In the day game, the Rockies cruised to a 5-1 victory to improve the record to 26-15. “Nolan Being Nolan” got the scoring started with a typical first inning solo shot. The Rockies added three more runs in the third with the aid of the ageless Mark Reynolds two-run single. Ian Desmond added a run-scoring single to make the score 4-0. The lead grew to 5-0 when Blackmon drove in Alexi Amarista after he doubled. German Marquez labored through five innings giving up a run on four hits and two walks with only three strikeouts on 101 pitches. Marquez was a victim of countless foul balls. Then the mastermind of the bullpen (BB) went to work for the final four innings. Chris Rusin had a 1-2-3 sixth before giving way to Otto in the seventh with two on and one out. Otto got the two outs and then allowed a leadoff hit in the eighth. BB handed the ball to Mike Dunn who promptly got a double play grounder and a third out. Dunn was asked to finish the game in the ninth. He got two outs before putting two on. BB once again went to Greg Holland who struck out Brian Dozier to pick up his 18th save.
Minnesota avoided a home sweep with a 2-0 shutout of Colorado. Chatty had horrible command of his pitches (105 pitches over five innings), but somehow wriggled out of jams to keep the score at 2-0. Chad Qualls, Gopherg, and Carlos Estevez (26th man for doubleheader) threw one inning each. Jose Berrios dominated the Rockies going 7.2 innings giving up just two hits and a single walk. The Rockies could not see him well and struck out 11 times against him. Some observers were saying that Berrios looked like Jose Fernandez tonight with his wipeout sliders.
Colorado moves on to Cincinnati for a three-game series against the Reds. Tyler Anderson, Antonio Senzatela, and Kyle Freeland will be the starters against the Big Red Machine. Once again the goal is to win series after series. Hopefully they will get the bats out of the bags early and often so BB can waste pitching innings with Jordan Lyles auditioning for other teams to pick him up off waivers in the next few weeks. Jeff Hoffman may be recalled to start Monday’s game at Philadelphia since Thursday starters (Marquez and Chatty) need to wait until at least Tuesday for their regular turns in the rotation.
Friday’s game will be streamed live on Facebook with no blackout restrictions. On the injury front, Trevor Story begins his rehab games Friday. Tom Murphy has started to intensify his baseball activities. Jon Gray is probably at least a month away. Tony Wolters is back on the team after a 7-day concussion DL stint. Jairo Diaz (don’t forget him!) is still in extended spring training (or just starting to pitch in AAA?).