The Colorado Rockies managed to salvage a series split with the Philadelphia Phillies, coming away with a 7-3 win Thursday afternoon at Coors Field. Most importantly, it was a record-setting day for Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa.
De La Rosa fell into a bit of trouble during the top half of the third inning as his pitch count started to increase ever so slightly. With runners on the corner, Phillies left fielder Darin Ruf chopped a ball over the head of Rockies’ third baseman Daniel Descalso, plating Freddy Galvis for the 1-0 Phillies lead. De La Rosa minimized the damage, getting Ryan Howard to pop out and Maikel Franco to ground out and end the inning.
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Charlie Blackmon led off the bottom half of the third inning, falling behind early on Jerome Williams. Williams, however, hit Blackmon with a 2-2 offering, placing Colorado’s leadoff man on with no outs. DJ LeMahieu followed up with a single to right, placing runners on the corners. Carlos Gonzalez worked a full-count, ending up on first base with a walk as the bases were loaded for the struggling Troy Tulowitzki — he delivered. Tulo drove a ball up the middle for a two-RBI single, giving Colorado the 2-1 lead.
After a Ben Paulsen fly out and Michael McKenry walk, Brandon Barnes roped an RBI single to right, plating CarGo as Tulowitzki was thrown out at the plate. Daniel Descalso ended the threat, grounding out to Chase Utley on the very first pitch of his at-bat.
In the fourth inning, we witnessed Colorado Rockies history. Jorge De La Rosa was tied with former Rockies’ ace Ubaldo Jimenez on the team’s strikeout list and happened to surpass him Thursday afternoon. With Freddy Galvis batting, De La Rosa struck him out on a full-count offering, getting him to chase on a what appeared to be a splitter. Congratulations to Jorge on making Rockies’ history!
De La Rosa struggled with his pitch count for the majority of the afternoon, but limited the damage. Jorge pitched 4.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits, walking three and striking out five. Christian Bergman finished off the fifth inning for De La Rosa, pitching a scoreless frame.
Colorado received a big boost from the bottom of their lineup in the bottom half of the fifth inning. After a first-pitch single from Ben Paulsen, Michael McKenry followed-up with a two-run shot to left field that got out of the park in a hurry. McKenry sat dead-red on an 87-MPH offering from Jerome Williams, giving the Rockies a 5-3 lead.
The Rockies would tack on some more insurance runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning as Daniel Descalso recorded an RBI single to left, plating Mike McKenry (walk) as Brandon Barnes (single) advanced to third. Pinch-hitter Nolan Arenado joined in on the party as well, collecting his own RBI single to score Barnes as the Rockies took a commanding 7-3 lead.
Colorado’s bullpen consisting of Christian Bergman, Scott Oberg, Boone Logan, Rafael Betancourt and John Axford combined to give up just two hits over 4.2 innings — good to see. Colorado held on for the 7-3 victory as Axford finished off the game with an inning ending double-play.
The Colorado Rockies (15-23) begin a four-game set tomorrow afternoon with the San Francisco Giants coming to town. Kyle Kendrick (1-5, 6.70 ERA) takes the hill for the Rockies as Ryan Vogelsong (2-2, 5.31) counters for the Giants. First-pitch is scheduled for 8:10 PM EST, 6:10 PM MST.