Shortly after making history on the mound for the Colorado Rockies on Monday night, starting pitcher Chad Kuhl was celebrating with his family via FaceTime in the hallway outside the Rockies clubhouse.
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Kuhl etched his name in the franchise record books on Monday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers
There was plenty for Kuhl, his family, and Colorado Rockies fans to celebrate on Monday night as the Rockies opened a six-game homestand with a 4-0 blanking of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kuhl was a major part of the win, throwing 102 pitches and allowing the loaded L.A. lineup just three hits overall. With the effort, the 29-year-old right-hander became just the fourth Colorado pitcher in franchise history to allow three or fewer baserunners in a complete-game shutout.
It was the longest outing of Kuhl’s six-year MLB career and his first-ever career complete game.
“I always want to win. That’s the top priority, but it’s been one of those personal goals for me,” Kuhl said. “Not necessarily (pitching) a complete game, but going long into a game like this.”
Gavin Lux went 2-for-3 against Kuhl on the night, but the other Dodgers combined to go 1-for-26 and didn’t draw a walk. Lux hit a ninth-inning leadoff double that drew a mound visit from Rockies pitching coach Darryl Scott. Rockies manager Bud Black said after the game that closer Daniel Bard was getting ready in the bullpen in case he was needed. Kuhl, however, finished the job with authority, striking out Trayce Thompson, getting Trea Turner to ground out, and finishing the game with Freddie Freeman fly out to center field.
“I think it just relocked me in,” Kuhl said of the mound visit. “You ride the line of being under control and trying to execute pitches as well as trying to be aggressive. I think that got me more aggressive and it got me back to where I needed to be.”
Where Kuhl needed to be was exactly what the Rockies needed in taking their third win in four tries against the Dodgers this season, all at Coors Field.
“He just stayed within himself the whole game,” Black said of Kuhl’s performance, which lowered his ERA to 3.49 on the season and evened his record at 5-5.
Colorado gave Kuhl an early cushion, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after two innings, then padding the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run homer off the bat of José Iglesias, marking his first round-tripper of the season.
In other Rockies news, Kris Bryant returned to the lineup on Monday after his second stint on the injured list this season with back issues. Bryant batted third, played left field, and went 1-for-4 in his return.
His hit was one of 11 the Rockies had on the night, with 10 of those coming off Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson, who suffered his first loss of the season after giving up all four Colorado runs in six innings of work.