DENVER - The Colorado Rockies went swimming with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday and came away floating. After mostly treading water from the fifth inning on, the club avoided a lethal sting late to win 7-4.
"We got some really good young talented players," Manger Walt Weiss told. "And I guess it was on display a little bit tonight. Tyler gave us another real good start. Ran into a little trouble there in the seventh but the bullpen really stepped up tonight. Otto and Motte got some huge outs."
Tyler Anderson pitched a Coors Field gem, Trevor Story hit the game-winning homer and Carlos Estevez added another save to his name.
Evan Longoria proved he still had it, putting on a show for the Colorado cranks. His first-inning single drove in Kevin Kiermaier and gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Rockies came right back with double-doubles which scored DJ LeMahieu on Carlos Gonzalez' extra bagger in the bottom of the first.
The score remained there until the fourth when the Rockies plated two thanks to a pair of walks surrender by Drew Smyly to start the inning. Mark Reynolds and Nick Hundley drove Trevor Story and Ryan Raburn home. That's when things really went south for the southpaw. In the fifth, a two-out single by CarGo put a man on for Story, who knocked home the game-winning run on a two-run 417-foot homer.
Meanwhile, Anderson kept chucking up zeros for the home team until the seventh when he looked to run out of gas a bit. First surrendering the ever devilish leadoff walk followed by a triple to Tim Beckham to the gap and two more knocks. He left with one out remaining and the tying run on second in the seventh. Adam Ottavino cleaned up the mess and got the Rockies out of it.
In the eighth, the Rockies were in trouble once again as Longoria hit his second triple of the night and season to start the inning. That's when Jason Motte settled down and struck out the side.
"I'm happy I got out of it," Motte said. "Runner on third nobody out one run game, percentages are high that he scores. I was excited to get out of that and keep the lead."
When the Rockies were down to two outs in their half of the eighth Daniel Descalso pinch hit and legged out a seemingly meaningless single at the time. It soon came to haunt as the club notched three more baserunners and two runs to tack on to their lead and give them a 7-4 tally.
"That's huge to go out there with a three-run lead (in the ninth) opposed to a one-run lead where anything can happen," Weiss said. "Danny hustled down-the-line and it ended up being a big play. We got some big at-bats and big hits after that."
Estevez had no issues in the ninth recording his sixth career save and finishing off a Rockies victory.
"Unbelievable," Anderson exclaimed. "If you want to win games you have a bullpen like that. It was special tonight."
Motte was the pitcher who provided the most noteworthy inning but he gave some love to the starter Anderson.
"It's all the same," Motte explained about the differences between him and Anderson. "Pitching is going out there and keeping guys off balance, executing pitches. He does a great job of that, throws his change, throws his cutter he mixes it up. He keeps guys off balance and keeps them guessing, it's a cat and mouse game out there. He does a great job."
Anderson tabbed his second win, and would've had another quality start had he not been rocked in the seventh. At the end of the day, he pitched more than good enough to give the Rockies a win.
Jason Motte's eighth inning: No way the Rockies should've come out of that with the lead.
"Any close game gets you pumped up you feed off the adrenaline, I enjoy those situations I enjoy the adrenaline and trying to channel that to executing my pitches... It's fun, we won. When you go out there in those situations... it's fun." - Motte
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME:
Two-and-a-third scoreless with four strikeouts. Just shutdown stuff from a now almost healthy pen.
SINCE THE LAST RAYS ROAD WIN:
The team has traveled 9,108 miles, four of their players have celebrated birthdays, the NHL, NBA and College World Series have all crowned their champions.
Last Tampa road win was June, 8 in Arizona (40 days).
BY THE NUMBERS:
6.1 - Tyler Anderson tied a career high with six-and-a-third innings pitched.
10 - Charlie Blackmon has a ten game hit streak.
22 - Trevor Story hit his 22nd dinger of the year, he trails Kris Bryant by three for the MLB lead.
60 - Evan Longoria is tied for 60th in MLB with two triples.
The Rockies continue their seven-game homestand and three-game series against the Rays tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6:40. Tyler Chatwood will get the ball for the first time after the All-Star Break and will face Blake Snell.