The Colorado Rockies received good pitching, but the offense again failed to help, as they managed only two hits in a 3-2 loss to the Royals. The four through nine spots in the Rockies lineup went 1-20 with seven strikeouts and just three walks, with two of those walks and a hit occurring in the ninth inning. Though the bats managed some life in the ninth, it was too little too late against the Royals.
Jon Gray started for the Rockies and kept things close, weaving through some questionable defense, which the Rockies apparently packed in their luggage after the four error game on Sunday. Gray allowed a run in the first inning when Whit Merrifield reached on a single. He stole second base, reached third on a groundball to DJ LeMahieu and then scored when Jonathan Lucroy allowed a passed ball.
Arenado helped changed the tune of the defense in the third, getting Alcides Escobar with such a good play that it didn’t even look close.
Nolan Arenado is a magician pic.twitter.com/9HVmw6f3SJ— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 23, 2017
The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning, when new/old Royal Melky Cabrera slammed a ball ball to deep right field for a triple. He scored on an infield single by Eric Hosmer, who was then driven home by Salvador Perez’s double, popping the score to 3-0 Royals.
Danny Duffy stifled the Rockies for most of his start. Until the sixth inning, all he had allowed was a walk to Arenado in the first and a walk to Trevor Story in the fifth. In the sixth, however, the Rockies got some offense going after DJ LeMahieu drew the Rockies third walk of the game. Arenado then broke up the no-hitter with a two run home run to center field. Duffy closed out the inning then leave the game after 88 pitches. With six innings logged, Duffy had an odd looking line of two runs, both earned, on just one hit to go with three walks and seven strikeouts. After six innings, the score was 3-2 Royals.
With a high pitch count, Gray came back out for the bottom of the seventh inning on a short leash. He got Brandon Moss and Escobar to ground out, but after allowing a single to left by Alex Gordon, he was replaced by Pat Neshek who got out of the frame by getting Merrifield to fly out to a diving Carlos Gonzalez in right field. Gray finished the night using 101 pitches to go six and two third innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out six.
Mike Minor back induced a Raimel Tapia groundout in the eighth before nabbing a strikeout on two balls outside Charlie Blackmon’s strike zone. Australian Peter Moylan, who debuted for the Atlana Braves back in 2006 after that year’s World Baseball Classic and was a member of their WBC team this year, relieved Minor and got DJ LeMahieu to ground out to end the eighth.
Neshek returned to pitch the ninth for the Rockies. He got Lorenzo Cain to pop out before handing the ball over to Mike Dunn. Dunn got Cabrera to pop out to center field, then made Hosmer greet LeMahieu’s glove with the laments of his royally flailing left handed bat.
Kelvin Herrera entered the game in the ninth to face Arenado, who greeted Herrera with a comebacker and the first out of the inning. Reynolds grounded out to Escobar. Jonathan Lucroy then hit a flare out to right field which landed just fair beneath Cabrera’s glove. It took Cabrera awhile to recover, so Lucroy took third base. Gonzalez then took four straight high pitches for a walk. Gerardo Parra who was scratched from the starting lineup with a calf injury, entered the game to pinch hit for Story. Herrera remained wild, throwing four pitches in the dirt that Royals catcher Perez successfully blocked but didn’t receive hazard pay for. That loaded the bases.
With Herrera gone wild, Valaika took the first two pitches outside. Herrera then asked for the trainer and after a consultation and was removed from the game because of an injury. Royals southpaw Scott Alexander, put in a bad spot staked to a 2-0 count on Valaika, got a strike, then a soft grounder to Escobar to finish the game.
The series continues on Wednesday as Antonio Senzatela faces off against the Royals Ian Kennedy. The game will get underway at 6:15 pm MST.