Peter Lambert was greeted unceremoniously in his long-awaited return to the mound for the Colorado Rockies.
After 737 days between Major League starts, his delivery on the second pitch of the game Friday night was deposited 392 feet over Coors Field’s right-field wall by San Francisco’s Tommy La Stella.
From there, the right-hander surrendered another solo home run and just four hits in 3.2 innings before departing and the Giants went on to blast four home runs on the way to a 7-2 victory before a crowd of 41,613 at Coors Field.
Lambert was making his first start in the Majors since Sept. 20, 2019. He did not play in the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery for an injury suffered in the 2020 spring training season.
Despite the homers, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black still was impressed with Peter Lambert.
Despite permitting the pair of homers, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black was impressed with Lambert’s 65-pitch outing (38 strikes, 27 balls).
“I liked his stuff,” Black told media post-game about Lambert, who won his initial two starts with Colorado in the 2019 campaign to become the third player in franchise history to do so.
“He was a little amped up, which is expected. From a stuff standpoint, I think that was Peter Lambert. Fastball 92 to 95. Slider, curveball, change. His mix of pitches was there.”
Added Black: “As far as the performance, he missed a couple of fastball locations that came back to bite him….I liked the use of the changeup. I liked his mix of pitches.”
Lambert worked out of a jam in the third inning after allowing a pair of one-out singles, thanks in part, to catcher Elias Diaz who picked off Brandon Belt at first base following the second Giants single of the inning. Lambert then retired the first two batters in the fourth before issuing his only walk to end his night with the game tied at 2-2.
“I was happy to be back out there. That’s for sure,” said Lambert, who fanned two in his return. He struck out nine to set a franchise record for MLB pitching debuts in his first big league appearance on June 6, 2019.
“I was pretty amped up but nothing too crazy,” he added about his outing Friday night.
“I felt good. I wasn’t exactly as sharp as I would have liked to have been. But I thought it went well. A few badly located fastballs in fastball counts and they took advantage.”
The Giants (100-54) used the long ball quite effectively with their four homers accounting for all but one of the team’s runs. La Stella, Belt, and Brandon Crawford each had solo shots while Mike Yastrzemski added a three-run blast in a four-run San Francisco seventh.
Brendan Rogers had three hits and scored a run for Colorado (71-82), which has now dropped seven of its last eight home games. Charlie Blackmon and Diaz notched run-scoring singles to drive in both of Colorado’s runs in the first inning. The pair collected two hits each, along with Sam Hilliard and Raimel Tapia, in the Rockies’ 11-hit attack.
Game 2 of the three-game series between the two teams is set for 6:10 p.m. (Mountain time) Saturday. Jon Gray (8-11, 4.17 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Rockies while Anthony DeSciafani (12-7, 3.23 ERA) is slated to start for San Francisco.
During special pre-game ceremonies Saturday, Colorado will retire the No. 33 of Larry Walker to celebrate his recent Hall of Fame induction and unveil a No. 33 sign on the Coors Field outfield wall. Walker and some of his former teammates will speak as part of the ceremonies.