Ryan Feltner of the Colorado Rockies picked a great time to pick up his initial Major League victory.
In just his third Major League start this season, the right-hander handcuffed Miami on only four hits and one run in seven innings and his Colorado Rockies teammates erupted for seven runs in their final two at bats on the way to a 7-1 victory against the Marlins on Monday afternoon before a Memorial Day crowd of 40,275 at Coors FIeld.
The victory for Colorado (22-26) came in the opener of a three-game series between the Rockies and Marlins (19-27) and the first of a seven-game homestand for the Rox after Colorado limped home following a 2-5 road trip.
The Rockies finished with 10 hits, with seven of those coming from the 6 through 9 spots in the order.
Garrett Hampson had three hits and drove in a pair of runs while scoring twice and Yonathan Daza, a mid-game replacement, came up with the big blow — a bases-loaded double in a four-run seventh inning — as part of a career-high four-RBI day.
The win for Ryan Feltner came in his second season with the Colorado Rockies
Feltner made two starts for the Rox a year ago, including his Major League debut last September, but failed to crack the win column in those contests.
With Miami starting pitcher Pablo López holding the Rockies scoreless for the game’s first six innings, Colorado needed a solid performance from Feltner to stay close in the contest.
Feltner delivered with his first Big League quality start that included six strikeouts.
“One guy can set the tone and that guy today was Ryan … did a great job,” Colorado manager Bud Black said about Feltner’s 99-pitch outing, which included 62 strikes.
“He pitched great. And he had to because their guy (López) is really good. Their guy is outstanding. So, good for him (Feltner) that he matched up against one of the best pitchers in the (National) league and went toe-to-to with him and hung in there and pitched great.
“That’s just exactly what we needed on a day like this against that guy (López),” Black added.
A fourth round selection in the 2018 draft, Feltner made only a few mistakes in garnering his initial win with the Rox.
One mistake resulted in a double off the right center field fence by Miami’s Jorge Soler in the sixth inning.
The other mistake was more costly. The Marlins’ Jesús Sánchez drove a Feltner offering 496 feet, traveling beyond the upper (third) deck in right field for a solo home run in the second inning.
That homer stood as the game’s only run through the first 6.5 innings, but Feltner finished his day in style retiring the final five Miami batters he faced.
After the game, he reflected on earning his first Big League “W.”
“It meant a lot,” he said of his performance against the Marlins following his most recent recall May 25 from Triple-A Albuquerque where he ranked first in the Pacific Coast League in wins and strikeouts.
“It’s a lot of time and effort that I put in to get to this point. I’m proud of myself and I just want to thank everybody that’s been with me along the way. It’s great to get the win and put us in a position to win the game.”
After Feltner had kept the Rockies close, Colorado finally broke through against Miami reliever Cole Sulser after the right-hander replaced López in the bottom of the seventh.
The Rox quickly loaded the bases with no outs against Sulser (0-2) on a a walk to Brendan Rodgers and singles by Sam Hilliard and Hampson. Hampson’s base hit came via a bunt.
Black then decided to bring Daza off the bench to pinch hit for rookie catcher Brian Serven.
Daza stroked the first pitch he saw from Sulser — a changeup — into the left field corner for a bases-clearing double and a 3-1 Rox lead.
“I go out there, try to compete and do the best I can, and I am glad I did it,” Daza said of his game-defining hit.
“Bud Black put me in that situation, gave me an opportunity and I did my job.”
Daza would then come around to score on a single by Charlie Blackmon off Steven Okert, who was brought into the game for Sulser by Miami manager Don Mattingly after Daza’s double.
Daza also drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the Rockies’ three-run eighth inning.
Following one-out singles by Rodgers and Hilliard, Hampson followed with a two-run triple for his third hit of the day after entering the game batting just .150. He scored on Daza’s sacrifice fly.
“Definitely, the bats will pile up and I’m still only at 40 at-bats in the year so I am not really looking too much into the numbers yet,” said Hampson, who raised his average to .209 with his trio of hits while having reached base safely in 11 of his 13 starts in 2022.
“I think it’s a pretty short sample size so I am not worried about that,” he added. “I’m really just trying to take a good at-bat, play a good game, and help contribute to the team win.”
The hit by Rodgers extended his hitting streak to a career-long 17 games and is the third-longest active streak in the Majors.
Connor Joe legged out a triple in the sixth inning to extend his on-base streak to 28 games, the second-longest active streak in the Majors.
Game 2 of the Rockies-Marlins series is set for 6:40 p.m. (Mountain time) Tuesday. Germán Márquez (1-5, 6.30 earned run average) is the scheduled starter on the mound for Colorado.