Rockies vs. Rays: Rox can’t close the door in series loss

We had our chances but couldn’t capitalize
Tampa Bay Rays v Colorado Rockies
Tampa Bay Rays v Colorado Rockies / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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The Rundown

It’s good to be home. The Rockies welcomed the Rays into the friendly confines of Coors Field for their third series of the year on Friday, coming off a series sweep at the hands of the Cubs. Game one was started by Austin Gomber, who battled through a 41 pitch first inning, to give the Rockies a solid four innings of two run ball, racking up seven K’s. The Rockies broke through for three runs in the sixth inning, capped off by an Ezequiel Tovar two-run home run, giving the Rockies a 4-2 lead.

Following Gomber, the law firm of Lambert, Bird, and Mears held the Rays scoreless for four innings, and after Kris Bryant’s home run in the eighth, Bud Black turned the ball over to Justin Lawrence with a 6-2 lead. Lawrence imploded, giving up five runs in the top of the ninth and put the Rockies down 7-6. Pete Fairbanks came in for the save for the Rays and was unable to find the zone, for which he blamed the Coors Field humidor. Fairbanks loaded the bases on three straight walks and was lifted for Jason Adam, bringing up Ryan McMahon with the bases loaded. McMahon unloaded on the first pitch he saw, sending the walk-off grand slam into the deep right field stands, giving the Rox a 10-7 win in their home opener.

Game two got off to a hot start for the Rockies on a windy night at Coors, as the bats were hot behind a Ryan Feltner six inning, 10 strikeout masterpiece. Ryan McMahon, Michael Toglia, and Brenton Doyle all homered, giving Colorado a 6-1 lead in the sixth. The Rays plated two in the seventh off of Bird, and Tyler Kinley, followed by a Jalen Beeks blow up in the eighth, giving up five runs and the lead. The Rox were unable to muster anything up in the ninth off of Colin Poche, resulting in a brutal 8-6 loss.

The series finale was another heartbreaking loss for the Rockies. Dakota Hudson gave up three runs across six innings of work, but Ryan Pepiot dominated the Rays with an 11-strikeout performance. The Rockies plated a run in both the eighth and ninth innings on a pair of Elias Diaz and Brenton Doyle base hits, but the rally ultimately came up short and the Rox suffered a one run loss to close out the series.