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Jeff Hoffman dominates, leads Colorado Rockies to 8-1 win over Phillies

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Hoffman retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced.

The Colorado Rockies continue to dominate opponents on the road. However, on a night when the Rockies pushed their National League-leading road record to 16-7, Jeff Hoffman’s second big-league start of 2017 was the true story. Hoffman pitched seven innings, allowing one run on three hits. Using pinpoint command on a mid-90s fastball with a devastating curveball, he struck out seven and walked none.

Hoffman started by retiring the first 11 hitters that he faced. While there were a few hard hit balls among the outs, some good defensive plays by the Rockies kept the Phillies off the bases. Unfortunately for Hoffman, he gave up two of the three hits he would allow all night back-to-back, which led to the Phillies’ lone run of the night against him.

After that small hiccup in the fourth, Hoffman set the Phillies down in order in the fifth and sixth to give him a chance to go seven innings. After Aaron Altherr hit his second double of the game to lead off the seventh, Hoffman finished his outing strong, recording his sixth and seventh strikeouts before retiring his last batter of the night on a weak grounder to Nolan Arenado.

The Rockies offense got on the board in the top of the third inning when the bottom of the lineup set the table for Charlie Blackmon. Alexi Amarista and Tony Wolters led off the inning with a pair of singles. Hoffman placed a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third base line to move both of them into scoring position. Blackmon drove in both of them on a double down the left-field line to continue his impressive trend of accumulating RBIs from the lead-off spot.

After the Phillies cut the lead to two in the fourth inning, the Rockies pushed the lead back up to three in the sixth. Carlos Gonzalez hit a double down the right field line and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Gerardo Parra.

Thanks to Hoffman’s seven-inning outing, Bud Black was able to play the match ups in eighth inning with the bullpen, which paid dividends. Scott Oberg struck out the first batter with a nasty slider before Mike Dunn came in to finish the inning. With a new facial hair style, Dunn pitched like the early-season dominating version of himself striking out the next two batters.

The Rockies hitters blew the game open in the top of the ninth, scoring four more runs against the Phillies’ bullpen. A two-base error on a chopper by Blackmon allowed the first two runs to score before Arenado put a bow on the night with a two-run homer that allowed Black to give Greg Holland a night off.

Black instead turned to Jake Mcgee, who shut the Phillies down in order to give the Rockies their fifth win in the first seven games of this season-long, ten-game road trip.