After getting pummeled on their home turf, the Rockies returned to the comforts of the road on Friday night. Trevor Story homered, Kyle Freeland threw six strong innings, the bullpen returned to form, and Colorado took the NL West lead back from the Diamondbacks by a score of 3-1 at Chase Field.
Freeland had his second consecutive great outing, allowing just one run on six hits over six innings. He threw 96 pitches and allowed two walks while striking out two in his third win of the season. It was another promising sign for the rookie, who has been impressive this season, save for a rough outing against San Diego in his second start.
Carlos Gonzalez opened the scoring for the Rockies in the top of the first with a bouncing single up the middle that plated Nolan Arenado after he had hit a ground rule double.
Trevor Story expanded the Colorado lead to 2-0 with a solo home run, his fifth of the season, to just right of dead-center field in the third inning. It brought back memories of Story’s torrid start to the 2016 season, where he hit four homers in three games to begin his career.
Paul Goldschmidt, ever a thorn in the Rockies’ side, got a run back for the D’Backs in the bottom of the third with a single, but that would be the only damage Arizona would do against Freeland.
The D’Backs only serious threat for the rest of the game came in the fifth inning, but Freeland worked out of it with the help of a spectacular diving stop by Story.
The Rockies manufactured an insurance run in the seventh, as Pat Valaika walked to begin the inning, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a fly ball out, and scored on a Charlie Blackmon single that made the score 3-1.
Adam Ottavino had a dicey time trying to get the last out in bottom of the seventh after Chris Rusin retired the first two hitters. Otto was unable to consistently find the strike zone and threw a pick-off attempt into right field, but he was able to induce a ground ball to Arenado to end the inning without harm. He returned to pitch a flawless eighth inning in which his slider appeared far more under control.
Greg Holland worked a one-two-three ninth inning for his tenth save of the month, which ties the franchise record for April, and the Rockies improved to 15-9; moving a half-game ahead of Arizona for the top spot in the division. They are now 8-3 on the road.
The series continues tomorrow at 6:10 Mountain Daylight Time when Tyler Anderson takes on Arizona ace Zack Greinke.