DENVER — Kyle Freeland was a half-step late.
The second-year lefty already had a five-run cushion to work with and was cruising through the San Francisco Giants’ lineup when he poked a pitch toward second baseman Kelby Tomlinson in the fifth. The outcome looked inevitable, but Freeland made it interesting by mashing the nitrous button instead of tapping cruise control. When the first-base umpire signaled him out, Freeland ripped off his helmet in disgust.
Coming up short bothers Freeland even when it probably shouldn’t. Perhaps that approach helps explain why the 25-year-old Denver native has found so much success in a place where most pitchers don’t. Freeland helped the Rockies to an 11-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings. A couple mistake pitches in the sixth prevented him from picking up a seventh consecutive quality start, but he still did his part in helping Colorado get off to a 2-0 start to its six-game homestand against a pair of division rivals.