Colorado Rockies Win 5-1, Still Undefeated, This Is Fun!

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Apr 10, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Corey Dickerson (6) scores a run past Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo (5) in the fifth inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies opened up the home portion of their season Friday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs, and won 5-1 behind a strong bullpen and timely hitting by Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau.

Behind 11 hits and a strong outing from the bullpen despite an iffy start from Tyler Matzek, the Colorado Rockies defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-1 Friday afternoon at Coors Field to extend their season to a perfect 4-0 for the first time in twenty years.

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Matzek started the game for the Rockies amid a sellout at Coors Field and thousands more across downtown Denver, but didn’t have his sharpest stuff early.

He walked three in the first two innings alone, and loaded the bases in the second with two walks and a single.

And yet somehow, it didn’t burn him early, despite working behind hitters consistently the first time through the order.

Matzek helped himself in the bottom of the second with a double that was misplayed in left field, and a two-out DJ LeMahieu single brought him home to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead.

In the third, though, Matzek got in trouble again, giving up a single and hitting Anthony Rizzo with a pitch for the second time in three innings. After a single loaded the bases with nobody out, a sacrifice fly brought in one runner, but Matzek beat the jam, only allowing the tie.

Matzek sharpened in the fourth inning, getting his first 1-2-3 inning of the game, but it was short-lived after allowing a hit and a walk to start the fifth, when he was replaced by Christian Bergman.

Matzek ended up going 4+ innings, and while he struck out four batters, he gave up four hits and three walks, and hit two batters (Rizzo… twice…). He ended up throwing 84 pitches – but only 40 strikes – while allowing one run.

Bergman wiggled out of Matzek’s jam in the fifth, getting two ground balls (including a double play) to preserve the 1-1 game heading into the Rockies’ half of the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, a LeMahieu single and a Corey Dickerson walk put two on for Troy Tulowitzki, who promptly brought them both home with – guess what – a double!

The Cubs then interestingly walked Nolan Arenado intentionally to let their left-handed starter Travis Wood face Carlos Gonzalez, but the move paid off as CarGo flew out.

With two outs, Joe Maddon removed Wood in favor of Jason Motte, and the Rockies couldn’t capitalize on their base runners, leaving the lead at 3-1 after five full frames.

Brooks Brown relieved Bergman in the sixth, with Justin Morneau entering the game at first base in place of Wilin Rosario.

After a clean sixth by Brown, Morneau hit a solo home run – his 1,500th career hit – in the bottom of the sixth to extend the Rockies’ lead to 4-1.

Then, a Charlie Blackmon walk and a LeMahieu single – his third of the day – put two on base for Dickerson, who smacked a double in the left-center field gap that scored Blackmon. Unable to score more, though, the Rockies took a 5-1 lead into the seventh inning.

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The game stuck like that through good relief work by Brown in the seventh, and Rafael Betancourt through the eighth inning.

In the ninth, Boone Logan slammed the door to preserve the victory and the undefeated season.

Christian Bergman (1-0) earned the win in relief; Travis Wood (0-1) took the loss for the Cubs.

The Cubs and Rockies return at 6:10 pm Saturday night for game two of the series, before finishing up Sunday afternoon at 2:10 pm.

The Rockies will go to San Francisco and Los Angeles beginning Monday, for their first NL West action of the season.

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