Colorado Rockies: Randal Grichuk’s bat, glove fuel win against Dodgers

DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 29: Randal Grichuk #15 of the Colorado Rockies runs the baseline after hitting a RBI triple against the Los Angels Dodgers in the second inning at Coors Field on July 29, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 29: Randal Grichuk #15 of the Colorado Rockies runs the baseline after hitting a RBI triple against the Los Angels Dodgers in the second inning at Coors Field on July 29, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

For Colorado Rockies outfielder Randal Grichuk, it was a second consecutive game with three runs batted in and yet another day of sterling play defensively in center field.

For Daniel Bard, it was the perfect way to end a momentous day that will mean so much for he and his family for the future.

For the Colorado Rockies, Randal Grichuk and Daniel Bard contributed to their win

Randal Grichuk slammed a two-run triple during a decisive three-run sixth inning that put the Rockies ahead to stay and Daniel Bard put the finishing touches on the game with his 22nd save of the season in the Rockies’ 5-3 conquest of the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night before a packed house of 47,415 at Coors Field.

The victory allowed the Rox (46-56) to snap a six-game losing streak against the Dodgers (67-33) after Colorado had won four of the first five meetings with Los Angeles in 2022.

Brendan Rodgers had three of Colorado’s 10 hits to record his third multi-hit game in the last four contests and seventh in the past 12 while Kyle Freeland (6-7) notched his ninth quality start of the campaign by permitting just six hits with no walks and six strikeouts in six innings on the mound.

Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Rox erupted for four consecutive hits against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-3) to plate three runs.

After Kershaw retired the first hitter of the inning, Rodgers started the rally with a single to left field. Jose Iglesias followed with a single to right field that moved Rodgers to third.

Grichuk then delivered the key blow, lining a Kershaw offering sharply into the right field corner, scoring both Rodgers and Iglesias, as the Rox took a 4-3 lead.

Elias Díaz then drove in an insurance run with a single to left field to send Grichuk home and end the night for Kershaw, who has now absorbed a loss in his last three and four of his past five starts at Coors Field.

Grichuk also knocked in a run in the first inning when his two-out single tallied Rodgers who had reached on an infield hit. The run by Rodgers gave the Rox a 2-1 lead.

Rockies manager Bud Black on Randal Grichuk’s recent play

Colorado Manager Bud Black has seen the Rockies outfielder up his batting average and run production recently.

“As it relates to today, it was good to see ‘Grichie’ get the three RBIs and hit the ball on the nose in the eighth right to the second baseman,” he told media after the game.“But his average has steadily increased; he’s above .255, and there’s some RBIs in there, too. I think he would tell you he would like to see more homers, based on what he has done in the past,” he added.

“But as it relates to tonight, it was good to see Randal get some really hard contact.”

Defensively, Grichuk made a huge play in the top half of the sixth inning to keep Colorado within a run of the Dodgers before the Rox retook the lead in the home half of the frame. With two out and a runner on first base, he flagged down Max Muncy’s deep drive to centerfield and made a running catch at the warning track.

“Once it was hit, I knew it was in the gap and I just kind of had to take off and run,” Grichuk said of his inning-ending web gem. “It wasn’t one of those that you kind of just get a beat on. I had to just turn and run. Luckily, midway, I kind of had a feeling that I was going to be able to catch it. I just didn’t know if I was going to slam into the wall or if I was going to catch it before.”

Grichuk’s sterling catch brought a reaction of jubilation on the mound from Freeland after the lefthander had ended up facing who would be his last batter of the contest.

“It was awesome,” Grichuk said after witnessing Freeland’s reaction to his catch. “I think that’s what kind of makes those plays when the pitchers show some emotion and you see what it means to them. They’re kind of in it with you. That makes it all worth it.”

The veteran outfielder also made a highlight-reel catch earlier this season when he robbed Texas’ Corey Seager of a home run with a leaping catch at the centerfield wall in a game in Arlington.

After Lucas Gilbreath and Alex Colomé each turned in a scoreless inning of relief following Freeland’s six-inning stint, it set the stage for Bard to seal the win and cap a memorable day.

Earlier Saturday, the Rockies announced that the organization had signed the Rox closer to a two-year contract extension through the 2023-24 seasons. The righthander followed up by converting his 22nd save in 24 opportunities with a scoreless ninth inning.

With the events surrounding Bard’s contract extension, Black noted that the Rox reliever took the events in stride.

“I think the last couple of days, obviously, probably a little emotional for him behind the scenes as he went through this,” he said. “But he feels good about this (contract extension). I think that, again, he wants to be here. That’s the thing that sort of resonates with me (and) with a lot of our players. That’s a good thing and everyone should take notice of that.”

Colorado and Los Angeles conclude their four-game series Sunday with a contest slated to start at 1:10 p.m. (Mountain time) at Coors Field. German Marquez (6-8, 5.25 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Rockies while Tony Gonsolin (11-1, 2.26 ERA) is the listed Dodgers starter.