Colorado broke out of its slump in a big way Sunday, getting it done in nearly every facet of the game with a 10-6 win over Texas. It was a welcome sight for the Rockies (13-8), who entered the game with four straight losses, as they put together a complete game — timely offense, great defense and solid starting pitching — for the first time in seemingly forever.
Jon Gray picked up his first victory of the season Sunday, throwing seven efficient innings against the Rangers. Gray (1-2, 5.74 ERA) gave up three earned runs and racked up a season-high seven strikeouts.
Gray has actually pitched well in three of his four outings this season (let’s just forget about those eight earned runs against Arizona, shall we?), but he’s been unlucky with the performance around him — until Sunday.
Gray was the recipient of some stellar defense against the Rangers, particularly from the hot corner. Once again, Nolan Arenado made a handful of dazzling plays — but none prettier than his third-inning snag to rob Texas’ Jeff Mathis of a hit.
The Rockies broke out some much-needed offense Sunday. In fact, it’s the first time all season Colorado has put a double-digit run total on the board (the previous high was nine runs against San Diego on August 2).
Ryan McMahon got the scoring barrage started in the second inning with a three-run homer off starter Kolby Allard (0-1), who entered the game with a 1.00 ERA and left with a 5.25 ERA. Charlie Blackmon tacked on another two hits (and two walks) and is now hitting .446 on the season. Garrett Hampson, Matt Kemp and Raimel Tapia all turned in multi-hit games, as well.
Estévez saves the day
Despite the Rockies running on all cylinders, things did get interesting in the ninth inning, when the Rangers loaded the bases and pushed across two runs against Jairo Díaz. Texas actually brought the tying run to the plate, but Carlos Estévez was able to get final out for his first save of the season. It was also his first save since 2016.
Estévez needed only one pitch to earn the save, but it could have been a costly one. Pinch-hitter Scott Heineman lined the ball off Estévez, who picked it up and flipped it to first for the final out. The ball hit the right-hander’s right hand, and he was taken back for X-rays following the game, according to multiple reports.
Estévez was hit in the back of the right hand. He's going for X-rays right now...— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) August 16, 2020
The Rockies head to Houston for a four-game series against the Astros. Monday’s series-opener features a top-tier pitching showdown between Colorado’s Kyle Freeland (2-0, 2.45 ERA) and Houston’s Brandon Bielak (2-0, 1.76). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. MT.