Denver - Chad Bettis gave the Colorado Rockies exactly what they asked for, seven strong innings. Meanwhile, the offense exploded, nailing five solo shots. Combined, the club came together and clicked en route their 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
What was perhaps most impressive about Bettis' one-earned-run performance was that it came on a day when his team desperately needed length from their starter. The right-hander threw 64 of his 99 pitches for strikes and didn’t walk a batter. Although he left some pitches up in the zone in the second and third inning, he settled down nicely displaying excellent command of all quadrants of the strike zone on his way to a six strikeout game.
The offense got hot early as Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado hit back-to-back jacks in the first. The Rockies offense would continue to produce as Ryan Raburn also hit a solo shot right after it seemed the Padres might take ahold of the game. Then Gonzalez and Trevor Story went back-to-back in the eighth to seal the game.
Story's homer Sunday was his seventh in his sixth MLB game. He also walked to briefly keep the fifth inning alive.
"It'd be nice if that's normal," skipper Walt Weiss said of Story's hot start. "He's on quite a run, it's incredible to watch."
Indeed, Story just keeps breaking records all while learning about what MLB life is like.
Another youngster came through as well. Miguel Castro bailed out Boone Logan who had a shaky relief appearance -- getting one out and giving up a run on a walk and a hit. Castro was magnificent for the second consecutive day. Sitting on 96 mph with his fastball and regularly buckling knees with a slider that got down to 79 mph, Castro dominated Matt Kemp and Wil Myers with the tying run in scoring position.
"Real big," Weiss described Castro's efforts. "With the couple short starts in a row, our bullpen was taxed ... I knew before the game if we got to that part of the order he was the guy I wanted to go to against their big right-handed hitters and he did a great job."
Jake McGee closed out, making his first Coors Field appearance. The main piece of the Corey Dickerson trade recorded his first Save at home and second of the season, giving up only a single.
In a 2-2 game in the bottom half of the fifth inning, catcher Tony Wolters notched his first big league hit. The one out knock started a rally that would give the Rockies a lead which they never surrendered.
After Wolters reached base, Bettis slug-bunted a single, and Blackmon brought home the catcher to take a 3-2 lead.
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
With the bullpen having already been taxed coming into the series and being blown up the last two days after poor starts from Jorge De La Rosa and Jordan Lyles, this start from Bettis couldn’t have come at a better time; stopping the bleeding and giving some of his teammates some much-needed rest. He shouldn’t have to pay for a thing at dinner tonight.
Bettis earned his first Win of the season and lowered his ERA to 4.38.
BY THE NUMBERS:
0 - The amount of Walks Bettis gave up
2 - The number of home runs Brandon Maurer let up in the eighth inning
471' - The distance on Nolan Arenado's first inning blast, the longest of the 2016 season, and the lengthiest of his career.
Monday will be the first off day of the 2016 season for the Colorado Rockies, they will be back in action Tuesday when the San Fransisco Giants come to town.