A big night from Charlie Blackmon along with a gutsy performance from Kyle Freeland gave the Rockies the first win of their road trip on Tuesday night. The Rox would win by a score of 7-3 against the Twins, but the game felt much closer than that, especially in the late innings.
With crafty veteran Phil Hughes on the mound the Rockies had to be smart with their at bats and work the opposite side of the field. They did that early in the first inning with both Blackmon and LeMahieu reaching, but they would not advance despite some hard hit balls.
The Rockies would get some runs across in the second behind some quality at bats and smart baseball. Desmond led off the inning with a single and Parra followed that up with a walk to put two on for Valaika. Valaika would bunt them over to put two on in scoring position for Tony Wolters, who just recently came off the DL from a concussion. Wolters would hit a soft ground ball to first, but Desmond read it well and scored from third. Blackmon then tallied his second hit in as many innings to score Parra for the second run of the game.
The Twins would manage to retaliate in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs on two doubles and a walk. After a Parra home run in the fourth, the Twins would counter again with Byron Buxton’s second home run of the year to put the score at 3-3.
The big inning came in the sixth for Colorado when they scored four runs. Cargo led off the inning with a double and scored when Desmond singled as the next batter. Then with two outs, Wolters hit a ball to the gap that was temporarily mishandled by right fielder Grossman. The play allowed Valaika to score. Charlie Blackmon then came up and crushed a homer to right center for his third hit of the game and third RBI.
The Twins down by four, would threaten late against Jake McGee. McGee actually got three outs in the inning with two strike outs, but what would have been the final out turned into a strange play when the batter was called out on a check swing, but the ball was in the dirt as well, allowing him to run down to first to be safe on a dropped third strike.
Bud Black then went to remove McGee with dangerous Brian Dozier coming to the plate and in came Greg Holland. Holland would earn the less traditional one out save for his 17th of the year when Dozier popped out to end the game.
The Rockies now send Marquez to the mound to face the rejuvenated Ervin Santana for the second game of the series. Marquez has been good lately so hopefully he cant out pitch Santana to give the Rockies a quick series win.