The summer of Gerardo Parra made its latest stop in Miami on Friday night. And, once again, the Colorado Rockies outfielder proved his worth and importance to the team.
Parra blasted a sixth-inning solo homer and had two defensive assists from his left field spot as the Rockies dropped the first game of a three-game series against the Marlins with a 6-3 decision on Friday night.
Parra’s defensive assists came in consecutive innings, nailing an oblivious Dee Gordon at third base in the third and throwing out Marcel Ozuna in the fourth as he tried to stretch a single into a double. The throws made Parra the first Rockies outfielder with two assists since 2014 when Charlie Blackmon last turned the trick.
"“The base hit by Stanton that Parra charged to get Gordon was a great play. Great play by Nolan (Arenado) on the other end to pick that ball and quick tag,” Black said. “A heads up play on the ball down the line. That was a very tough play. Being heads up with another strong, powerful throw to DJ (LeMahieu) to make the tag on Ozuna. He has a very capable arm. That’s one of his strengths as a player is his arm. That’s another plus tool for him.”"
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Offense. Defense. Clubhouse enthusiasm. Dugout spirit. Whatever it takes this season, Parra is doing it.
Since coming off the disabled list on July 7 after suffering a quad injury, Parra has been on an offensive tear. He has hit safely in 21 of 25 games, going 38-for-95 for a .400 average. Only Houston’s Jose Altuve is hitting at a better clip in the same stretch.
Last season, it seemed Parra could do little right. This season, it seems the 30-year-old outfielder can do little wrong.
Thoughts on Jon Gray
Against Miami on Friday night, Gray worked his way through the first five innings, scattering six hits and getting out of trouble when he needed to. The sixth inning, however, saw the Marlins figure Gray out.
The third time through the Miami lineup, coinciding with the start of the sixth inning, Giancarlo Stanton blasted his 40th homer of the year with one out. Christian Yelich followed with a double and Ozuna drew a walk. A wild pitch moved the runners over a base and J.T. Realmuto tied the game 3-3 with a sacrifice fly.
After the game, Gray said that things changed as the game went along with results that weren’t good.
"“I wanted to expand more later in the game, second time through, third time through for some guys,” Gray said. “But I got behind and didn’t pitch to my aggressiveness. I kind of changed my game plan a little bit.“Note to self: It can’t happen again.”"
Black said location doomed Gray, who gave up eight hits and three runs in 5.2 innings while striking out four and walking two.
"“Early in the game, I thought the curveball was effective,” Black said. “As the game went on, the fastball went up and came up in the strike zone. That’s the thing that sort of got Jon overall. Too many balls up as the game went along.”"