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.

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Christian Clark
Author

Christian Clark is an Arlington, Texas, native who covers the Denver Nuggets for BSN Denver. Education: I graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in December 2014 with an emphasis in print and digital news. Career: My work has been featured in the Fort Worth-Star Telegram, The Oklahoman and Columbia Missourian, and online at TexasFootball.com and Denverite.com. I came aboard at BSN Denver in November. Most memorable sports moment: Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger. One sports movie I can’t live without: Tin Cup, do not @ me Most memorable experience as a reporter: Covering the Missouri football team’s boycott in 2015. It led to University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe’s resignation and had so many other ripple effects. The sport that started it all: Basketball. My sports-watching memories kick in with those early-2000s Dallas Mavericks teams. They had bad hair and scored a lot of points. Shout-out to Nellie Ball.