Colorado Rockies morning after: Alan Trejo makes big first impression

DENVER, CO - MAY 13: Alan Trejo #13 of the Colorado Rockies defends on the field during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on May 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MAY 13: Alan Trejo #13 of the Colorado Rockies defends on the field during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on May 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

As first impressions go, Colorado Rockies infielder Alan Trejo make a big one Friday night.

Seeing his first game action of the 2022 season, and in only his second at-bat of the year, Trejo crushed a three-run home run to cap a five-run fourth inning as Colorado rallied from a three-run deficit to hold on for a 6-5 victory against the Chicago Cubs before a crowd of 35,450 at Coors Field.

Trejo, who made his first Major League Opening Day roster this season, drew the start at shortstop and batted ninth in the Rockies lineup in the second game of a four-game series between Colorado and Chicago after the Cubs claimed the series opener on Thursday.

Colorado Rockies infielder Alan Trejo played well in his first game of 2022

With two out in the bottom of the fourth and Sam Hilliard and Garrett Hampson on base, Colorado Rockies infielder Alan Trejo belted an offering from Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0-1) into the left field stands for his first homer since June 4, 2021, to put the Rox in front for good, 5-3.

“Amazing. It feels great to contribute, finally,” said Trejo about the homer and his game after he appeared in 28 games across three separate stints with the Rockies a year ago.

“Getting into the lineup and having the team win. It feels great,” he added while talking to media after the game, including Rox Pile.

Trejo has no qualms about doing his part, whether it be in a starting role—as was the case Friday night—or coming off the bench.

“It could be challenging, but that is the role that was given to me and that is what I am going to go with,” he said. “I just try to be the best at my role.”

Trejo also made his presence known defensively against the Cubs, teaming up with Hampson for a key double play in the eighth inning when Chicago trailed 6-4 but threatened to take the lead by loading the bases against Colorado reliever Carlos Estévez.

Tyler Kinley came in from the Rox bullpen, though, to strike out Willson Contreras on just three pitches to quell the Cubs’ threat.

Daniel Bard surrendered back-to-back, two-out doubles in the ninth inning but, with a Chicago runner on third base, got Michael Hermosillo to pop out to Hampson for the game’s final out to earn his third save of the season.

The run allowed by Bard was just the third earned run by Colorado’s bullpen in 31.1 innings this season. The Rockies bullpen leads the Majors with a sterling 0.86 ERA.

Colorado relief pitchers also top the Majors with five wins and are tied for first with five saves.

During his pregame press conference, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black spoke about the solid performance of the team’s bullpen thus far this season.

"“I think it is just the consistency of strikes,” Black said. “Fundamental pitching is what you are seeing. Getting ahead in the count. Continuing to attack and throw strikes with good stuff. All Major League bullpens have guys with good arms and good stuff. But our guys are getting ahead. They are getting the ball in the strike zone. The ball is in play. We are making plays behind them. They are getting their strikeouts. Our walk totals are down, which is something that we have to do the entire season, not just in a six-game sample. That’s the key. All the guys are doing good. We have nine guys down there. They have all pitched pretty well.”"

Reliever Ty Blach, after notching a save in his initial appearance as a Rockie in an Opening Day  victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers (four innings of one-hit, scoreless relief), picked up the win for his first Major League victory since Sept. 3, 2019. The Denver native threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings after taking over for Colorado starter Germán Márquez in the fifth inning.

Marquez, who entered the game with a 7-2 record and 2.81 ERA in his last 14 starts at Coors Field, was raked for 10 hits and four earned runs before departing. Righthander Alex Colomé tossed a scoreless inning of relief for the Rockies, who have not lost consecutive games to the Cubs at Coors Field since April of 2015.

Chicago actually outhit Colorado 13-11 but the Rox came up with the big blows offensively.

Besides Trejo’s three-run blast, Hilliard slapped a two-run double to plate the first two runs in the Rockies’ fourth-inning uprising while C.J. Cron slammed a solo homer to center field, his third of the young season, in the fifth.

Kris Bryant, Ryan McMahon, and Elias Diaz each had a pair of hits for the Rox too. Bryant has now collected a hit in each of his first seven games as a Rockie with four multi-hit games to his credit.

With Jackie Robinson Day being celebrated across the Majors on Friday, Colorado, with the win, is now 10-7 on the special day since its inception in 2004.

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The two teams meet for Game 3 of the four-game series at 6:10 p.m. (Mountain time) Saturday. Antonio Senzatela (0-0, 2.70 ERA) is slated to get the starting nod on the mound for the Colorado Rockies and he will face Mark Leiter, Jr., who will be making his 2022 debut.