Rockies come up clutch, squeak out a win

For what seems like the first time in forever, the Rockies scored seven runs in a road game and came up with clutch hit after clutch hit. They got some power, some timely knocks, and some (decent) bullpen pitching. There was a scare late when Greg Holland failed to shut it down, but Jake McGee quickly extinguished that fire.

Starting early, the Rockies took advantage of some free passes by Sean Necomb, something that needs to be done against this young pitcher. After a hit by pitch and a walk, Pat Valaika, batting eighth, came up big with a single up the middle to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead.

While the lead wouldn’t last, it was a clutch hit for the Rockies who would have almost surely finished the inning without a run if Valaika had not drove in the run. The Braves got their own clutch hits in the third when Brandon Phillips singled in a run and Freddie Freeman drove in a run on a sac fly to take a 2-0 lead.

The Rockies then tied the game up on an unlikely candidate for a home run, DJ LeMahieu. On a 2-0 count, LeMahieu laced a ball to right field that got out in a hurry for a solo shot, his fifth of the year. Later in the inning after a walk and single, Trevor Story came up big by hitting a gapper to drive in two on a double. The Rockies would finish the inning ahead by two and looking good.

While Kyle Freeland was good on Saturday night, he did run into trouble in his final inning of work, allowing two runs to let the Braves tie the game up again. Freeland finished with six innings and four earned runs, walking one and striking out five. It was certainly not Freeland’s best start, but he did a good job of keeping the Rockies in it while he was on the hill.

It took until the ninth for either team to score again and the Rockies struck first with their biggest knocks in weeks. After Cargo hit a pinch-hit single, Charlie Blackmon launched a two-run homer to give the Rockies a 6-4 lead. DJ LeMahieu then did what he has never done before and hit a homer to left, giving him his first multi-homer game. The three runs looked to be a nice cushion for Greg Holland in the ninth, but as it would turn out, the Rockies would need each run.

Greg Holland came on for the ninth and allowed an 0-2 single to his first batter, a bad omen of things to come. A batter later and with one out, Matt Adams clobbered a ball that got out, again on an 0-2 count. Holland remained in for one more batter, but allowed a single to him too before Black removed him for Jake McGee.

Fortunately for the Rockies, McGee came on and got a nice double play to end the game, earn a save, and give the Rockies the win. The Rockies can now play for a series win on Sunday with their ace on the mound in Jon Gray. Gray has pitched well recently and this is a good chance for him to shut the Braves down and give the Rockies some momentum before they head home.

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