Rockies vs. Marlins final score: Colorado starts fast, holds on late for 1st win of 2014

Marc Serota

The Rockies endured some late game derpage from their new closer to get into the win column.

If the Rockies play too many games like this one, 2014 is going to be a nerve-racking experience. And one that is tremendously long.

Colorado started quickly by scoring three runs on six hits in the first inning and held on late despite hiccups from the back-end of the bullpen to earn its first win of the season, a 6-5 decision over the Marlins.

The Rockies came out swinging after a pair of futile offensive performances to start the season. Carlos Gonzalez ripped an RBI double and Justin Morneau and Jordan Pacheco added run-scoring singles to put the Rockies on top early against Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez. Three innings later, Colorado took advantage of two errors and two walks by the Marlins to add three more runs and take a 6-1 lead.

Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles was impressive through his first five innings, surrendering a run in the first but keeping the Marlins at bay until the sixth, when things started to unravel a bit for the Rockies.

Lyles hit Derek Dietrich with a pitch to begin the inning and found his 0-1 fastball to Giancarlo Stanton on the wrong side of the outfield wall in the next at-bat. After walking Garrett Jones, Lyles was pulled from the game. He wound up being charged with four earned runs on five hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out five.

The Rockies' bats were kept quiet, and that allowed Miami to crawl back into it. After cutting their deficit to 6-4 in the two innings earlier, the Marlins threatened against Rex Brothers in the eighth by drawing a pair of walks. However, the Rockies' left-handed setup man induced a couple of fly outs and struck out Marcell Ozuna on a nasty slider to end the rally ... for now.

LaTroy Hawkins' debut as the Rockies' closer didn't exactly go smoothly. The 41-year-old righty repeatedly failed to put away hitters due to his lack of a strikeout pitch. That nearly cost the Rockies the game, as Hawkins found himself unnecessarily facing Giancarlo Stanton after allowing a single and a walk.

Stanton got ahead of Hawkins, 3-1, and clobbered a pitch down the left field line. Fortunately for the Rockies, the ball hooked foul, and the star slugger ended up settling for an RBI single a couple of pitches later, cutting Colorado's lead to 6-5. The Rockies closer then bore down and induced a popup off the bat of Jones to preserve win.

It wasn't pretty, but the Rockies really needed a win and they came away with one. Now, they have a chance to right the ship and earn a split in the season-opening four-game series.

Pacheco, in his first appearance of the season, led Colorado with three hits. That's very encouraging to see from the backup catcher after he struggled so mightily at the big-league level a year ago. Charlie Blackmon and Michael Cuddyer had two hits apiece from the top of the Rockies' lineup.

Gonzalez left the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a double-switch when Adam Ottavino replaced Lyles. It put a scare into Rockies fans for several minutes until it was announced that the star outfielder was experiencing dizziness. That's a sigh of relief for a guy who didn't look great while striking out in the previous inning, raising questions about the finger that was so bothersome for him in 2013.


Source: FanGraphs

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Franklin Morales will be on the mound for the Rockies in the series finale Thursday morning. MLB Network will have TV coverage in the Rocky Mountain area.

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