Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group
The Rockies earned a nail-biting win on Thursday night by a score of 3-1, but the big story has to revolve around two of the Rockies young players. First, and positively, Trevor Story hit his first home run of the year, an eventual game winning two-run shot. The homer is hopefully a sign of things to come for the Rockies sophomore shortstop. Secondly, and not positively, was the early exit of Jon Gray who left one batter into the fourth inning with a re-aggravated toe injury. Gray was cruising through three innings, but a play where he had to move quickly off the mound and jump to get a ball may have caused a flare up. A DL stint is not predicted, but Gray may miss a start or at the very least be pushed back.
Luckily for the Rockies, Gray’s early exit only gave way to Chris Rusin who dominated the Giants lineup. Rusin had to come out of the bullpen and warm up quick to replace Gray with a runner on in the fourth, but he did just that and saved the Rockies bullpen early in this series. Rusin pitched 3.1 innings and allowed only two hits, with one run scoring on a sac fly in the seventh.
The Rockies got an insurance run on a Mark Reynolds single in the sixth inning and that cushion may have made closer Greg Holland a little more comfortable as he had some high stress in the ninth. Joe Panik started the ninth with a deflected single that gave the Giants some hope. With one out and a batter later, the Giants earned another hit on a slow roller that Story just couldn’t get to quick enough. Conor Gillaspie then walked to load the bases with only one out. The inning looked to be getting scary, but Holland induced a ground ball from Eduardo Nunez and the Rockies turned an easy double play to win the game. It was Holland’s sixth save in as many tries on the year and it gave the Rockies an opening game win.
Tyler Anderson faces off against Cueto in the second game of the series and the Rockies will hope for an improved start from Anderson. They will also hope for some offense as that is still something that has been a concern, but first and foremost they want a win.