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Rockies 6, Cubs 5: Two-homer Story nails down a nail-biter

Colorado’s bullpen locks it down with a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth

The Colorado Rockies have taken a three-game set from the Chicago Cubs in dramatic fashion.

Trevor Story proved his worth with two homers. Every player in the Rockies starting lineup recorded a hit, other than the pitcher. Colorado mashed four home runs. The Rockies had multi-hit games from Story, Connor Joe, Raimel Tapia and Brendan Rodgers.

All of this wasn’t enough to ease the tension of a tight ballgame.

The Colorado bullpen came up big with three scoreless frames—in a one-run contest—to win the series.

Story has a day

It didn’t take long for the Rockies’ lineup to draw first blood. Jake Arrieta left a 93 mph fastball on the wrong side of the plate, and with two outs in the first, Trevor Story cleared the left field fence.

Not to be outdone by anybody, Story did it again in the fifth. He went opposite field off Chicago’s Jake Jewell, and a 94 mph heater landed in the Colorado bullpen.

Solo homer show

Today was a good day to sit beyond the outfield fence. It was sunny in the mid 90’s, there was a nice summer breeze, and it was raining homers.

Connor Joe led off the bottom of the second with a solo shot to right, while Sam Hilliard went second-deck in the fourth. It was Hilliard’s third homer in four games.

The solo blasts weren’t enough to put the contest out of reach, however. The Rockies led 6-4 after four homers and five complete innings.

Colorado had one run that didn’t come from a homer. Ryan McMahon plated Tapia in the third with a two-out single.

Arrieta departs early

For the fourth consecutive start, Chicago’s Jake Arrieta failed to complete five innings. He allowed nine hits over four frames, and all four of his earned runs came by way of the longball.

Senzatela falls short of five

Antonio Senzatela gave up a 4-0 lead after four innings. He allowed four consecutive base hits in the fifth before getting pulled, but Tyler Kinley came up big with a strikeout to close the frame.

It was smooth sailing for Senzatela outside of his final frame. He punched out six in a row (!), and over his first four innings, nobody touched second.

Senzatela’s final line: 4 23 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K.

74 pitches. In the top of the 5th and with a 4-4 tie, the Rockies’ relievers had their work cut out for them.

Bullpen blood pressure

Tyler Kinley slammed the door for Senzatela for the fifth.

Kinley opened it back up in the sixth: double, single, no outs.

Jhoulys Chacín posted a clutch sixth inning: three up, three down, one strikeout. Kinley was allowed to exhale: his inherited runner was stranded.

In the seventh, Chacín opened the door with a leadoff walk. He closed the frame with a strikeout, flyout and groundout. It was his fourth appearance in 25 days, and he hasn’t allowed a run in his last 12 innings.

Then came Carlos Estévez for the eighth. He sat down the Cubs with three flyouts and a five-pitch punchout.

Then came Daniel Bard, closer with a 9.00 ERA over his previous four games. Bard tossed a scoreless frame on Wednesday night, and was called upon again to preserve the one-run lead.

Cue the Pearl Jam. Strikeout, groundout, flyout.


Up Next

Colorado will extend their homestand with the Miami Marlins in a three-game weekend set. Miami just took three of four from the Mets, but their 46-72 record has them fifth in the NL East.

We’ve got the chance to see some nasty triple-digit sinkers on Friday night. Red-hot Sandy Alcantara (3.12 ERA, 3.76 xFIP) will take the mound for the Marlins, fresh off a seven-inning shutout performance against the Yankees last Saturday. He posted 10 strikeouts and allowed two hits, as the Yankees touched third base one time with the right-hander on the mound.

Alcantara’s mother passed away in late July, a story featured in this tremendous article by Christina De Nicola. Miami’s right-hander returned to his Dominican Republic homeland to pay his respects before suiting back up on July 27.

Colorado will roll out team ace Germán Márquez (3.51 ERA, 3.46 xFIP) for his 23rd start of the season. The All-Star allowed two earned runs to the Padres over six innings in his last start, but walked four batters in the process. Márquez is suddenly throwing as much or more sliders than fastballs, which was not the case in his first 20 starts this year.

We’ve got the inner workings of a Friday night pitcher’s duel on our hands. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MDT.