The Rockies earned their first win of the season, beating the Dodgers 3-2 at Coors Field.
Germán Márquez returned to All-Star form tonight, going seven innings — one of four starting pitchers to do that so far — and allowing just one run on three hits while striking out five. He retired nine in a row to close out the seventh.
Connor Joe had a heck of a night at the plate, too. Joe went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run. He also hit the Rockies first homer of the season — a 444-footer — to dead center:
After the game, Joe said he “tried to battle once it gets to 0-2 and then got a pitch up and put a good swing on it.”
He also said this was probably one of the “top one or two” best moments of his career. “The home run on my one-year [cancer remission] anniversary is still number one. This is right up there, though.”
All of the Rockies starters recorded at least one hit except for Charlie Blackmon, José Iglesias and Dom Nuñez (and Elias Díaz, the Rockies first pinch hitter of 2022). However, there was also some defensive wizardry in the outfield tonight.
In the fifth inning, Sam Hilliard made a diving catch.
“Off the bat, I was shaded in right-center and I thought it was Kris’s ball,” Hilliard said postgame. “It had that tail towards left field. I wasn’t jogging but I wasn’t running full speed after it. I took my eyes off the ball and looked at Kris and he was looking at me and so I was like ‘oh... he thinks it’s me!’ so I was close enough to where I was able to make a last-second dive for it. And I guess it ended up looking kind of cool, but you’ve just got to get the out there.”
“Maybe I just wanted to set him up for a great play,” Bryant chuckled.
And it was.
In the eighth, he robbed Freddie Freeman of what very well could’ve been his first run in Dodger blue:
After the game, Hilliard got candid.
“I don’t think it was going to be a home run, to be honest,” he said. “It was pretty close, but it was a play where I wasn’t even really aware of where the wall was. I was pretty lucky to catch it and then hit the wall as opposed to hitting the wall and then trying to make a play. But it just timed out perfectly to where I was away enough from the wall to make a play and then hit the wall and then get the ball in. I wasn’t ready for the wall, it just kind of happened that way.”
The Rockies finish the three-game set against the Dodgers tomorrow afternoon. Antonio Senzatela will go up against lefty Julio Urías. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. MT.