Despite a commanding seven innings by Rockies starter Kyle Freeland and a 4-for-5 showing by shortstop Brendan Rodgers, the Marlins capped a three-game sweep on some well-placed, decisive, eighth-inning singles.
The Rockies outhit Miami today 12-9. The Marlins recorded 12 total bases at the plate, while Colorado’s Rodgers recorded eight by himself.
The curse of Marlins Park continued, however, and 4 2⁄3 innings of shutdown work by the Miami bullpen closed out a 3-2 final.
Colorado has now lost five of their last six games in Miami dating back to last season.
Rodgers contributes in both runs scored
A 4-for-5 afternoon by Rodgers led the way for both of Colorado’s runs on the scoreboard. The four-hitting shortstop contributed a third of the Rockies’ hits, and his third-inning double helped answer back against early Miami offense.
Brendan Rodgers' 2-out 385-ft double scores C.J. Cron pic.twitter.com/PNsW4iYQmA— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) June 23, 2022
Rodgers posted two doubles within the first three innings. His third-inning hit scored C.J. Cron from first base, and was followed by a Ryan McMahon single to give the Rockies an early 2-1 lead.
A triple by Rodgers in the sixth inning would give the Rockies another huge opportunity to end their Miami woes:
Brendan Rodgers' 1st triple of the season pic.twitter.com/OutTd7p02p— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) June 23, 2022
The threat was short-lived, however, as a flyout, walk and fielder’s choice would follow.
Freeland carves, gets big in final frame
On the heels of a seven-inning, 82-pitch outing one start prior, Freeland again matched his season-high innings mark this afternoon. 104 pitches were needed, and Freeland’s outing ended as he shut the door on a prime seventh-inning run-scoring opportunity.
Five of his seven frames featured at least one base hit; only one was a three-up, three-down frame. Only two runners would reach third base on Freeland across his seven hits allowed. His five strikeouts this afternoon was the most across his last five starts.
Kyle Freeland— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) June 23, 2022
5 K pic.twitter.com/yZvdtvGjXx
The Rockies bullpen became active during the seventh inning with Freeland working around some traffic. A two-out single by Miami’s Bryan De La Cruz was followed by another single by Jon Berti, prompting a mound visit and a showdown with Jazz Chisholm Jr., the second hitter in the Miami order, with the tying run in scoring position.
A duel ensued.
With Chisholm a presumed final batter of Freeland’s day no matter the outcome, Freeland loaded the count, executed some sliders that were fouled off, and answered back with an inside heater for a swinging strike three.
Colorado’s win probability pulled to an even 50% after the strikeout of Chisholm, and the table was set for a rested Rockies bullpen.
Colomé singles prove costly
Colorado setup man Alex Colomé did not allowed an earned run for 17 innings before arriving in Miami. He allowed one run in the Tuesday series opener, but began clean today with a leadoff flyout by three-hitter Jorge Soler.
Damage would ensue. A 103.5 MPH sing off the bat of Garrett Cooper skipped into left field near the edge of the infield dirt, and a well-placed opposite-field wrist-flick by Jesus Aguliar (74 MPH EV) pushed runners to the corners with one out.
All that was needed for Miami was a run. After Aguilar, Avisail Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice, just far enough to avoid an inning-ending double play. Cooper would score, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead.
Colomé’s day was done, not by torrential damage to the outfield, but on a series of well-placed singles and some hustle down the line by Garcia. Miami took a one-run lead to the ninth, riding a bullpen that had already tossed 3 1⁄3 scoreless innings to that point.
Miami bullpen: 4 1⁄3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K
After using a lot of top relievers on Tuesday, the Marlins rested up many of their top arms on Wednesday. The tank was full once again today, and their top relievers delivered.
Steven Okert was tasked with the eighth inning, working around a two-out walk to Connor Joe but otherwise posting a perfect frame.
Scott was followed by Miami reliever Tanner Scott, and a three-strikeout ninth inning by Scott would ensue. One more threat was created — a single by none other than red-hot Brendan Rodgers — but the one-out base hit was stranded as Scott earned his sixth save of the season.
The National League Rockies will fly to Minneapolis this evening to take on the American League Twins for the first time since 2017. Minnesota is currently toe-to-toe with Cleveland for the best record in the AL Central, while Colorado can catch Arizona for fourth place in the NL West this weekend with some favorable outcomes.
Germán Márquez will open the series on Friday against Minnesota’s Dylan Bundy, two starters with current ERA’s north of five. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. MST.