Supported by Jon Gray’s great start and two home runs, the Colorado Rockies For the first time this season, he secured consecutive road wins and celebrated coach Bud Black’s 2000th career game on Sunday with a W.
Gray wolf cornered but bared fangs
Jon Gray loves playing against the Padres and Sunday’s start was another example of that. He went six innings and allowed one run on three hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. Gray’s slider in particular moved well and registered a lot of swings and misses. (Four of his seven Ks were done with that pitch.)
The second inning was his toughest and almost catastrophic. Trent Grisham opened the frame with a double and Eric Hosmer shot a liner in the middle, then took second base on a wild pitch to put the runners in second and third with no outs. It looked bad after a walk to Wil Myers as the bases were loaded with no outs. Instead of imploding, however, Gray showed mental strength and elicited a double game with running hits from Victor Caratini, forcing Ryan Weathers to ground out. The potentially dangerous inning instead ended with only one legal run and was the only time the Padres crossed home plate.
Veterinarians make it big
On a Rockies team where so many stars are young players making their way, it was a pair of well-traveled thugs who led the offensive against San Diego. In the fourth inning, Weathers drove after a Trevor Story strikeout and Charlie Blackmon popout as he stared at Cron’s plate. The great first baseman jumped on a hanging swap from the rookie pitcher and shot a 40-foot shot across the midfield wall to tie the competition individually.
On the seventh lap, Chris Owings doubled his lead in Colorado with a solo of his own, sending a Craig Tribe ankle bend high into the San Diego sky and barely over the wall. Owings, recently back from injury and struggling mightily since then, chose a great time for his first long ball of the season.
The Rockies added a third run in the ninth inning on a sloppy defensive play by the Padres, who made two mistakes that frame.
Chacín walks the tightrope
Jhoulys Chacín, a starter in the Rockies rotation for many years, is now locked up as a savior in the late inning. A stark change from his previous tenure in Purple, Sunday was an example of the breathtaking intensity that excursion can produce in the late stages of a close game. After a 1-2-3 seventh inning, pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar led the eighth with a walk. Tommy Pham then flew out and Fernando Tatis, Jr. struck. Profar started first with the Tatis at-bat, then moved up to third after a miss by catcher Elías Díaz. With the punching Jake Cronenworth and tracking in third place, Chacín managed to force a flyball into the middle to end the threat and massive exhalations from Rockies fans could be heard everywhere.
Fortunately, Daniel Bard had a nice and easy ninth inning to secure the win and the series win.
All-star break! The Rockies are on their way as the All-Star Celebrations begin at Coors Field. When all of that is done, they will host Los Angeles on Friday. It is not yet known who the starters will be at this point.
Have fun and have a safe all-star break. We hope to see you at Coors Field!