The bats woke up today as the Rockies beat the Cubs this afternoon on the strength of seven runs from 12 hits. Nolan Armando started off the scoring in the bottom of the first. With two on, Arenado hit a home run to left field. It was not only the first home run of the spring for the Rockies, but it gave the team its first lead. Arenado also doubled in the third, after which McKenry singled him in. The Rockies had two more extra base hits on the day, including doubles off the bats of Trevor Story and Kyle Parker.
Starting pitcher Brett Marshall tossed the first two innings, but relievers covered the remaining seven innings one-by-one. Marshall was impressive in the first, as he sat down the Cubs in order. Two of the three outs were in the air. According to Twitter reports, Marshall's fastball sat between 90 and 94 miles per hour. His slider and changeup sounded like they were working as well, so it was a nice outing.
The big blemish came off of the bat of top prospect in baseball Kris Bryant. In the second, the right-handed Bryant mashed an inside fastball in the lower half of the zone and sent it over the left-center field wall for a two-run dinger. It sounded impressive. In all, Marshall gave up two hits, two runs, struck out one and waked one in his two-inning outing.
Kraig Sitton, Rafael Betancourt, and LaTroy Hawkins each pitched a scoreless inning wherein they each gave up a hit and struck out one. Betancourt's outs were of the hard hit variety, but it's great to see him get an inning under his belt. John Axford pitched a clean fifth inning for his Rockies debut. Two of his outs came by the ground ball, while the other was strike out. Adam Ottavino gave up a hit but nothing else in his inning. Boone Logan gave up a hit and a run in a 17 pitch eighth inning.
The game was not without drama at the end. The plan was for Justin Miller to finish the game, but after giving up a home run to Matt Szczur, to make the game 7-4, Miller allowed two singles and and gave up two walks to make it 7-5. He did pepper in two outs, but Walt Weiss brought in Brooks Brown to finish the game. Brown did just that, as he got Mike Baxter to ground out to wrap up the Rockies' first victory of the spring.
There were two minor injuries. Roger Bernadina bruised his wrist after a run in with first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and Omar Quintanilla was hit by a pitch, also on his wrist. Neither injury is serious.
In all, it was a fine day for the Rockies. It's nice to see Arenado swinging the bat well. The only pitcher to really run into trouble was Justin Miller, despite the ten total hits given up, but he's unlikely to play a role on the big league club this season.
Tomorrow, Tyler Matzek will make his spring debut against the San Diego Padres.