On Tuesday, the Chicago White Sox blistered erstwhile Rockie Wilton Lopez for six runs in the eighth inning, bringing a tight game to an ignominious close. Wednesday, the Rockies returned the favor, jumping all over White Sox relievers (primarily Ronald Belisario [sorry, yo]) and dropping a six-spot in their half of the eighth. That inning broke open a tie game and resulted in a Rockies' laugher. The win brings the Rockies back to .500 at 5-5.
Juan Nicasio started the ballgame, and he didn't have the wipe-out stuff that he brought against the Diamondbacks. Nicasio's pitch count ballooned a bit as he allowed eight hits and two walks over his five frames. The right-hander almost escaped a jam with runners on second and third with no outs in the fifth; he induced a pop-out and eight-pitch strikeout of Dayan Viciedo to get two outs. Conor Gillaspie ruined the effort, as he singled home the two runners. That shoved the White Sox ahead four to three, but the Rockies saved their offensive fireworks for later.
Charlie Blackmon's red-hot start continued, as he banged another three hits around the field, including a lead-off triple (he scored on Michael Cuddyer's ground out). After his monster home stand, Blackmon is hitting .471 this year. Speaking of Cuddyer, his RBI single in the eighth extended his hitting streak to start the season to 10 games.
Carlos Gonzalez had another three-hit day, but the other, surprising hitting star was DJ LeMahieu. LeMayhem (h/t Ryan Spilborghs) went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs. He doubled home Justin Morneau in the sixth, after Nolan Arenado and Charlie Culberson failed to bring him home after a lead-off double and error placed him at third. That tied the game up and was a major turning point. DJLM began the fun in the eighth as well, singling home Drew Stubbs and Arenado and breaking the ice on the big inning. Whenever there was action, Lemahieu was right in the middle of it. He may not have much power or on-base ability, but his opposite field approach lends itself to good contact when he needs it the most.
Josh Rutledge, in his first at-bat in the big leagues this year, had an RBI single.
The bullpen put up four innings worth of donuts, all of them hitless. Adam Ottavino continued to mow down batters with his hard slider. Boone Logan made his Rockies debut in the lowest leverage situation imaginable, with 8.2 innings in the books and his team up by six. Still, he didn't screw it up, and got Paul Konerko to ground out.
It was a solid effort all the way around for the Rockies. It would have been nice to see Nicasio consolidate the gains he showed five days ago, but he still kept the team in it. He was only a pitch away from only allowing two runs.
The Rockies enjoy a rare off day Thursday before it's back to NL West play. They will head to San Francisco for a stiff test; the Giants boast one of the most formidable lineups in the game, as Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, and Pablo Sandoval are all off to hot starts. But for now the players and fans can enjoy a second straight series win and some encouraging signs.
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