Not even snow flurries falling on a cold, blustery April afternoon at Coors Field was going to stop Colorado Rockies outfielder Yonathan Daza.
Daza kept up his hot bat as of late by blasting his first Major League home run to highlight an 11-hit attack and the Rockies completed a two-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 6-3 victory Wednesday before 7,120 fans.
Let’s look back at what the Colorado Rockies’ sweep of the Houston Astros entailed.
The victory for Colorado (6-12) was its second straight and third in the last four games after going 0-6 earlier this month on the team’s first road swing of the 2021 season.
Daza had two hits and snapped a 2-2 tie by depositing a pitch from Houston’s Jose Urquidy over the left field wall to lead off the bottom of the second inning.
He also had a single an inning later to give him 10 hits in his last 23 at bats, a .435 average, in the Rockies last nine games. During that span, he has also collected a pair of doubles and driven in three runs.
Appearing on his first MLB Opening Day roster this spring after being at the team’s alternate training site a year ago, Daza has settled in nicely as his playing time continues to increase.
"“I just want to have fun and am having fun,” said Daza, who made his MLB debut in 2019 while appearing in 44 games for the Rox. “I am controlling the bat. I am controlling the zone and I am having a good time.”"
Penciled in at No. 6 in the lineup, Daza was part of a bottom half of the batting order that came up big Wednesday against the Astros (7-10).
Garrett Hampson, hitting seventh, and Dom Nunez, hitting eighth, also had two hits apiece. Hampson scored twice while Nunez drove in a run with a second-inning single and a double in the sixth, knocking in Hampson on each occasion.
While noting the all-around performance of his team at the plate, Colorado manager Bud Black was pleased with the play of the Daza, Hampson, and Nunez on Wednesday.
"“It was really good to see the at bats,” Black told media, including Rox Pile, after the game about the trio. “I thought Hampson had a couple of good at bats. I thought Dom had a really good day at the plate, too. Daza with the big swing. He had a lengthy at bat and dropped the head (of the bat) on the fast ball and hit that homer. The contribution came from those guys.”"
Trevor Story gave Colorado a quick lead with a two-run double after Raimel Tapia drew a walk off Urquidy to open the home half of the first and Ryan McMahon followed with a single for one of his two hits on the day.
Tapia plated the club’s final run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
One Colorado player, however, who did not join the hit parade Wednesday (and hasn’t for some time) was Sam Hilliard.
Hilliard struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He last recorded a hit on April 7 (vs. Arizona) and has gone 0-for-20 since then with 10 strikeouts.
Making his fourth start of the year, Austin Gomber turned in his third straight quality outing to pick up his first win (1-2) as a member of the Rockies.
He fanned six and allowed only two hits over six innings. One of those two hits was a two-run homer by Yuli Gurriel that knotted the game at 2-2 in the second.
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Gomber’s mound performance lowered his earned run average for the season to 3.38 while also dropping the combined ERA for Rockies starting pitchers to 3.46 — ninth-best in MLB.
Robert Stephenson and Yency Almonte each added a scoreless inning of relief while, in a non-save situation, Daniel Bard came on to close out the game in the ninth.
Bard allowed one run on two hits, marking the third time in his last four outings that the right-hander has permitted a run. His ERA now stands at 4.70.
After a day off from action tomorrow, Colorado returns to the diamond at 6:40 p.m. (Mountain time) Friday for the opener of a three-game home series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
German Marquez (1-1) is slated to take the mound against the Phillies, who entered action Wednesday in second place in the National League East behind the New York Mets. The Mets took two of three games from the Rockies over the weekend at Coors Field.