ROX SWEEP A’S ASIDE; CARDS AWAIT FOR 4
The Colorado Rockies notched 4 victories in 5 chances against American League West opponents Houston and Oakland in what on one hand might be considered a short week, but on the other represented the start of 17 straight without a break, continuing tonight in St Louis, Missouri.
Chris Rusin landed on the Disabled List with plantar fasciitis, which undoubtedly explains his lackluster 2018, and that will likely be it for the left-hander, a key component in 2017, for the distance. Seunghwan Oh, the South Korean right-hander, was obtained from the Toronto Blue Jays for 3 minor leaguers and pitched a scoreless 7th on Saturday night. And prodigal son Matt Holiday is taking swings out in Grand Junction in advance of a September cameo as the Rockies compete for a spot in the post-season tournament.
Colorado’s starters continue to excel. Tyler Anderson pitched into the 8th on 2 runs in Tuesday’s loss to the Astros. Jon Gray surrendered 2 over 7 in Wednesday’s win. Against the A’s, Kyle Freeland delivered 6 scoreless on Friday. Antonio Senzatela, working out of the “blister” slot in the Rockies’ rotation, held Oakland to a run over 5-2/3 on Saturday, then yesterday German Marquez was back from the birth of his child in Venezuela and toasted the occasion with 7-2/3 of 2-run labor. Charlie Blackmon, in sync with Agbayani, has been blazing away since the latter part of June, as have fellow all star Trevor Story, Unspeakably Awful Ian Desmond, and much-maligned veteran Carlos Gonzalez.
Colorado went toe-to-toe with Houston early in the week. It all turned into sort of an unseemly ooze in extras on Tuesday evening, but Wednesday saw Blackmon, Chuck Nazty, secure the split with a 1-out walkoff to dead-center.
After the week’s second off-day Thursday the A’s made the Friday night scene at the Coors Rooftop and ran straight into the Freeland buzz saw. The Rockies got 1 in the 2nd on singles by Noel Cuevas, Cargo, and Garrett Hampson, and 2 more in the 5th when Chuck N doubled leading-off and scored on a single by Desmond. UAI got surprised between 1st and 2nd when the throw to the plate was cut-off, but Nolan Arenado followed and drove his 26th 2018 home run into the left-center pavilion. Brian Shaw allowed the A’s only run on back-to-back doubles in the 7th. Scott Oberg bailed Shaw out of it and handled the 8th before Adam Ottavino came on for his 4th save.
Senzatela was a little woozy out of the gate on Saturday when Nick Martini led things off with a double, moved to 3rd on a Matt Chapman single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Khris with a K Davis. Senza’s teammates had his back, however, and took the lead in the 2nd when Gonzalez led off with a double (he had 3 for the night), Tom Murphy tripled him in with a drive that went to the wall in right-center, and then Murphy scored on a single by Pat Valaika. Arenado made it 3-1 with his 27th jack in the 3rd, and Valaika, in at 2nd after to-date ceding most of the injured DJ LeMahieu’s at-bats to Hampson, capped off the scoring with another homer in the 4th. Shaky Jake McGee bailed Senzalela out of a 2-out/2-on mess in the 6th, Oh made his debut and worked his way around a single and a walk in the 7th, then Ottavino worked a clean 8th ahead of a clean Wade Davis 9th, the free agent’s 29th 2018 save.
Marquez was back for the sweep Sunday. Ryan McMahon was promoted from Albuquerque at the expense of Cuevas, got the start at 1st, and doubled leading off the 2nd ahead of a homer by Murphy. McMahon was money again in the 3rd when he knocked-in Story with another double, the run that would eventually make the difference. Chapman (who the hell is he?) would nick Marquez with a lead-off homer in the 4th, and Davis, cute spelling and all, would do the same in the 7th, but Marquez would gut it out until 2 were gone in the 8th and Oberg came on to put the inning down. Wade Davis hammered the A’s 1-2-3 for his 30th in the 9th.
The Rockies are 3 games into the 17 contest grind, getting set for a 6:10 MT tilt at Busch Stadium in the Gateway City. They’ll play 4 in St Louis, 3 in Milwaukee versus the Brewers, 3 back in Denver against the Pittsburgh Pirates, then the Dodgers visit for 4 tough ones August 9 through 12 before an off day Monday the 13th.
The lefty Anderson (6-3, 3.57) goes in the opener tonight against righty Carlos Martinez (6-6, 3.39) of the Cards. Gray gets Jack Flaherty, 5 minutes later, curiously, tomorrow. Freeland faces Luke Weaver, also at 6:15 Wednesday, and the series wraps Thursday with an 11:15 am start, no TV, Senzatela versus Miles Mikolas.
Colorado sits 3rd in the NL West, trailing Arizona by 1/2 game, Los Angeles by one. Keep the coals burning.