It was yet another pitchers' duel for the Colorado Rockies involving Jon Gray. It may be a coincidence, but ever since Josh Fogg -- The Dragonslayer -- joined the ROOT Sports broadcast, Gray has been defeating really good pitchers start after start after start.
The Baltimore Orioles managed to scratch a few hits across, the first being a shift-beating bunt single from power-hitter Chris Davis (a sign of his confidence level in driving the ball against Gray) but couldn't score early. The Rockies were in even more dire straits, going into the sixth inning without having gotten a single runner on base. Dylan Bundy, who has been phenomenal all season, was simply dealing.
But with one out in the inning, Mark Reynolds broke up the perfect game by drawing a walk. Then the Rockies struck like The Viper, Randy Orton. Nick Hundley surprised everyone who was watching by breaking up the no-hitter and the shutout with one big swing, driving a pitch well over the left-field fence. The Rockies came into the inning with no hits and suddenly had a two-run lead. And that wasn't even the best part of the inning.
Just two batters later, with Bundy an out away from closing the inning down, rookie David Dahl -- in just his third game in MLB -- lined a change-up over the centerfield fence for the first home run of his big league career.
This was no small feat considering the level of competition, the closeness of the game, and the freshness of his debut.
Gray continues to be the Wolf of Blake Street, going seven strong innings for the third straight game and giving up just one run on five hits. He has surrendered just two runs over his last three starts. He walked two and struck out three. He threw 93 pitches, 60 for strikes. The only smudge on his resume for the evening was a home run surrendered to Manny Machado (his 21st of the year) in the bottom of the sixth.
This stretch of fantastic pitching from Gray has finally dipped his ERA under four, now sitting at 3.94.
Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan combined for a relatively easy eighth inning and Carlos Estevez earned his ninth Save of the season by working a clean ninth and punctuating the game with a strikeout of the final batter on a 98 mph fastball.
The Colorado Rockies came into a series against the team with the best record in the American League on a hot streak, and instead of falling back to Earth (which to be honest was the smart money play) continued to soar, coming one really dumb play away from sweeping a very good team.
Jon Gray continues to look like an ace. David Dahl, in just his first three games, already look like the real deal at the MLB level. Chad Bettis is on a role. Nolan Arenado is among the best in baseball and Trevor Story isn't going away. Carlos Estevez just keeps looking more and more comfortable in the closer role. Adam Ottavino has officially recaptured the set-up man spot. And the Rockies just keep winning games with plenty of season remaining.
The Rockies are off to the city that never sleeps for a four-game set against the New York Mets. Game 1 features Tyler Anderson versus Jacob DeGrom.