This game was close for a while until it wasn't. Jon Garland and Jon Niese traded punches for most of the game until the 7th inning, when seven straight Rockies reached base with two outs. The Rockies scored 6 runs in the frame, effectively putting the game on ice (#jokes). During the inning Todd Helton ripped his 573rd double off the right field wall, nudging him ahead of Pudge Rodriguez for 20th all time. Next up is Charlie Gehringer with 574.
Garland pitched a gem: 7 innings, 6 hits, and 2 runs, with 4 strikeouts against zero walks. That last number is the most encouraging one; walks are never good, but in Coors they are downright evil. He only needed 83 pitches to navigate those 7 innings. Garland's ERA sits at a cool 3.32, and the Rockies have won each of his three starts. Not bad for a late Spring Training pickup. Chris Volstad cleaned up the eighth and ninth, allowing two hits and a run.
Every starter got a hit in this game, and that includes Jon Garland. Eric Young was a late addition to the lineup as Michael Cuddyer rested a sore hamstring; Young went 3 for 5. Carlos Gonzalez continued torching the baseball, adding another 3 hits, making him 8 for 14 in the series. Josh Rutledge broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth with a solo homer, but perhaps more encouraging were his two walks. Dexter Fowler (7) and Troy Tulowitzki (4) added solo ding-dongs in the 8th, after the game was already put away, because Eh, why not?
Wilin Rosario only had one hit, but it was crucial; with the bases juiced in the 7th, he came through with a two strike, two out single to right field, scoring two. That hit widened the margin of the game from one run to three, and after that the flood gates opened up as Helton, Chris Nelson, and Reid Brignac came up with RBI base hits behind him.
This win vaults Colorado to 2.5 games clear of the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants for first place in the NL West. The Giants just finished up getting swept by the Milwaukee Brewers. Thanks beermen! The Diamondbacks will saunter into Denver tomorrow (the forecast calls for a high of 57, by the way) to begin a 3 game set. The Rockies will be looking to win their seventh straight ball game.
The Rockies will get a chance to complete the sweep on June 27th, when the Mets will come back to Coors to make up the game that got snowed out on Wednesday. I would imagine they aren't looking forward to that day.
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