For the second consecutive night at Coors Field, it was an unlikely hero who ended up playing one of the biggest parts in the Colorado Rockies once again taking down the National League West leaders.
One night after Pat Valaika broke an 0-for-30 slump with a momentum-changing home run, Mark Reynolds shook out of his seemingly season-long slumber with a two-run sixth-inning single as the Colorado Rockies earned their second consecutive win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sure, there was plenty to talk about in Colorado’s 5-3 victory, but Reynolds coming through in a big moment was certainly one to remember. Batting just .161 heading into the night and 0-for-2 entering the sixth against Clayton Kershaw, Reynolds sliced an 0-1 pitch from the Los Angeles left-hander into right field to plate Raimel Tapia and Nolan Arenado and break a 3-3 tie.
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The hit snapped an 0-for-12 streak for Reynolds and was the last of four consecutive singles the Rockies tallied against Kershaw in the frame, proving that offense can come at Coors Field without the aid of extra-base hits.
"“It was actually a normal baseball game tonight,” Reynolds smiled. “I felt like I hadn’t had a hit since spring training. I knew coming here what I was going to do. I did it last year and had some success. You get in a funk and man it’s tough.“To get a hit in a big spot and help our team win a game is huge.”"
Certainly, there was more than Reynolds that made a difference for the Rockies climbing five games over .500 (44-39) yet again. Jon Gray once again shined on the mound, getting a big ovation from the Rockies faithful as he walked off the mound with two outs in the seventh inning. It was a well-deserved tip of the cap from the 48,101 in attendance as Gray scattered seven hits over those 6.2 innings and struck out eight while walking just two.
Over his last 18.2 innings, Gray has surrendered just three earned runs while striking out 18. His presence has not only steadied Colorado’s in-flux rotation but has also, as Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post tweeted out, brought some sanity back to Coors Field after offense had reigned supreme since the series against the Chicago Cubs.
"“Jon Gray did such a good job today,” Charlie Blackmon told Rox Pile and other reporters in the clubhouse. “It’s hard to tell you how important that was for us to keep that game close and for him to pitch well and to give us such length. Our bullpen is a little bit tired out. Just a great start by him. I thought he did a good job. He was in control the whole time.”"
And let’s not forget Wade Davis coming on to pitch the ninth and nailing down the save. An erratic June that saw the Colorado closer post a 10.45 ERA and earn a pair of losses and not convert a pair of save opportunities came to a merciful end with Davis striking out a pair of Dodgers in the ninth to close the door.
"“That was good for Wade and should be a confidence-builder,” Colorado manager Bud Black said."
The last two nights have been confidence-builders for the Rockies as a whole. With the monkey of a 12-game slide to the Dodgers gone and a pair of off days coming up before the All-Star break, Colorado is putting itself in position to keep the momentum from the last two nights flowing into the second half of the season.