Earl Weaver would have been proud. With the game tied at three in the sixth inning, the Rockies got back to back singles from Ian Desmond and Chris Iannetta. Gerardo Parra strode to the plate and hit a three run home run that was the difference maker for the Rockies. Tyler Anderson pitched a strong 5 2⁄3 innings for the Rockies, and outside of Bryan Shaw allowing the inherited runner to score, the bullpen was able to shut down the Padres for the rest of the game.
Notable home runs
While Parra’s three-run homer was the deciding factor, a couple of home runs that tied and then gave the Rockies the lead in the fifth inning are worth noting. Daniel Castro hit his first home run with the Rockies and also his first since 2015. Three batters later, Noel Cuevas hit the first home run of his young career. Since finally earning a MLB promotion after over eight years in the minors, Cuevas has hit .308/.357/.385 and has been even better against left-handed pitching, which has made him the perfect platoon partner for a Rockies outfield full of lefties.
First big league dinger for Cuevas and first Rockies HR for Castro! pic.twitter.com/66yfluHOGZ— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 15, 2018
The Rockies incredible start to the season when playing at anywhere besides Coors Field continued. They are now an impressive 16-8 on the road. Considering that they are a disappointing 7-11 at the usually friendly confines of Coors Field and it’s a a bit off for a team that has historically struggled to compete on the road.
On one hand, the Rockies dominance on the road makes sense. The team is built to win games away from Coors Field where their young pitching staff can get deep enough into games and hand things off to the good part of the Rockies pen. The team doesn’t have enough offensive firepower currently to win the slug fests that inevitably happen at Coors and bail out the pitchers when they struggle. However there’s an oddity with the Rockies offense that’s worth noting. They’ve been better at hitting home runs on the road than at Coors.
In their 18 road games, the Rockies have hit 20 homers, a rate of 1.11 HR/game. On the road, they’ve now hit 36 home runs in 24 games, a rate of 1.5 HR/game. It’s still early enough for this to simply be a small-sample-size oddity, but it’s been a big part of their ability to pull out the close games on the road.
The Rockies conclude their two-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:40 pm. Germán Márquez will take the mound for the Rockies. Former Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles will start for the Padres. This will be Lyles second start for the Padres this season after working mainly out of the bullpen with good results. In his first start on May 10, Lyles went 5 innings and struck out six against only one walk and allowed one run. The game will be available on all of the usual media channels.