José Ureña’s solid start was supplemented by an offensive explosion that the Rockies have sorely needed in recent days. That lifted the home team over the visiting Giants 7-4 and gave them the win on Friday evening.
Alex Wood must absolutely despise coming to Coors. He felt the mile high elevation come into play on Friday, initially in the second inning. That frame saw Randal Grichuk reach base on a leadoff single and be brought home on Elehuris Montero’s 429-foot blast. His second home run of the season, and first at Coors Field, put Colorado in an early 2-0 advantage.
oh Wood you look at that…— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 20, 2022
Montero’s 1st Coors homer pic.twitter.com/Wh0SjmtSUE
The Rockies would score again in the fourth, this time thanks to a rocket of a long ball from Connor Joe. Joe, 1 for his last 16 entering the game, must have felt good about that one.
Rodgers dives for the save
The Rockies were feeling good up 3-0, but the Giants threatened in the top of the fifth. Mike Yastrzemski stood at third base with Tommy La Stella at the plate. A base hit here would score San Francisco’s first run and potentially start to swing the momentum back in the visitors’ favor. That eventuality seemed to come true as La Stella drove a ball back up the middle, but Brendan Rodgers dove to his right to snag it and made the out at first, keeping the Giants off the board and ending the inning.
Brendan Rodgers! What a play! pic.twitter.com/GEbzlcs81S— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) August 20, 2022
Have a night, Monty!
After that play in the top of the fifth, the Rockies seemed invigorated by the great play and put their bats to use again. Back-to-back doubles by Wynton Bernard and José Iglesias increased the lead to four runs, and Montero wasn’t done bopping either. He launched his second shot of the night into the center field stands for another homer, this time a three-run job, giving Rockies fans taco’s as the lead swelled to 7-0.
On the offensive onslaught, Bernard said postgame that “we just came with that mindset - we want to get some hits and attack the starter as best we could. And it doesn’t hurt that we had an excellent start by Ureña.”
With the home team up big, it would be up to the bullpen to hold things down until the end.
Pitching in purple...always precarious
José Ureña has struggled some since his auspicious start with the Rockies, but he looked like an ace in his Friday evening start. Regularly touching the upper-90’s with his fastball throughout his outing, the right-hander kept the Giants off the base paths all game, at one point retiring 11 in a row between the first and fifth innings.
Things got a bit scary after he left, though. With two on and one out in the top of the seventh, Ureña departed in favor of Lucas Gilbreath. The left-hander had a rough go of it, allowing three straight hitters to reach base (walk, hit-by-pitch, and a single) and bring the Giants within striking distance with the score now 7-4. Luckily, he was able to strike out Joc Pederson with two runners on base to end the threat.
Ureña’s final line score was 6 2⁄3 innings pitched and three runs allowed on three hits and two walks while striking out three.
After the scary seventh inning, things calmed down. Carlos Estévez worked around a leadoff double in the eighth to throw a scoreless frame, and Daniel Bard did his thing converting his 25th save of the season to send the Coors faithful home happy.
The Rockies and Giants will play game two of their series on Saturday. That contest will match up San Francisco’s Alex Cobb (4-6, 3.99 ERA) against Colorado’s Ryan Feltner (2-4, 6.39 ERA).
That game starts at 6:10pm MDT. See you then!