Thursday, August 11, 2016

CarGo, Rox turn tables on Rangers with late rally

The Rockies had been victimized by late-inning comebacks through the first three games of their four-game home-and-home series with the Rangers. But they found themselves on the right side of a comeback victory Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
Carlos Gonzalez, battling a left ankle sprain, came off the bench and erased some of the Rockies' frustrations with a tiebreaking three-run double in the eighth that led them to a 12-9 victory over the American League West-leading Rangers. The win ended a four-game losing streak for the Rockies and a five-game winning streak for the Rangers.
"I'm glad that I got the job done today, especially after all the tough losses that we've had against the Rangers and to be able to return the favor," said Gonzalez, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games. "They've been so great doing that all year, coming from behind and winning games."
It looked to be a similar tale for the Rockies and their bullpen when the Rangers scored four runs in the seventh to take a 9-7 lead, highlighted by back-to-back homers from Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland and an RBI double from Elvis Andrus. But Tony Woltersstarted the eighth-inning rally with an RBI single off left-hander Jake Diekman before David Dahl tied the game with a bases-loaded walk, and Gonzalez then cleared the bases off right-hander Matt Bush, who blew his third save a day after picking up his first career save.
"[Diekman] looked like he lost a little feel for the strike zone, feel for the pitch. I think the last couple outings have been kind of erratic," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "... As far as Bush, trying to nip the edges and walked a run in. Still feel like he needed to attack the strike zone."
Right-hander Scott Oberg picked up his first win of the season, despite allowing two runs in the seventh.
"What we've been through the last four or five days, it happens again today -- 105 degrees out there -- and we still fight our way back," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "That's why I've been focused on all the positives even though we've lost some tough games here lately."
Charlie Blackmon opened the scoring in the four-hour and three-minute contest -- which included 29 hits between both teams -- with a homer on the second pitch of the game off Rangers starter Lucas Harrell. The homer traveled an estimated 455 feet, per Statcast™. It was Blackmon's longest of the year and his eighth leadoff homer of the season, which gave him the Major League lead over Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson. Blackmon ended the day 4-for-6 and has multiple hits in five of his last six games.
The Rockies scored three in the third and two in the fourth off Harrell, who allowed six runs on nine hits in six innings. But the Rangers mirrored them in runs in both the third and fourth innings off Colorado starter Chad BettisRougned Odor drove in three of the Rangers' five runs in those innings with an RBI triple in the third and a two-run homer in the fourth. Bettis broke a streak of six straight quality starts after giving up five runs over five innings.
Dahl in the MLB books: Dahl singled in the first inning to extend his career-beginning hit streak to 17 games, which tied him with Chuck Aleno of the 1941 Reds for the Major League record. Dahl surpassed Juan Pierre's Rockies record 16-game hit streak to begin his career in 2000. More >
Historical homer leads to big inning: Beltre got the Rangers' four-run seventh going with a solo homer that just cleared the right-field fence. It was career home run No. 431 for Beltre, tying him with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. for 47th on the all-time list. Beltre is now three home runs away from tying former Rangers outfielder Juan Gonzalez and former Braves outfielder Andruw Jones for No. 44 on the list, with Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera also sitting at 434 career homers.
Diekman, Bush have rough 8th: Diekman was on the hook for three of the five runs allowed in the eighth after giving up an RBI single to Wolters and a single to Blackmon before being replaced. Bush got DJ LeMahieu out on an attempted safety squeeze before walkingNolan Arenado and Dahl to force in the run. Gonzalez then broke the game open with his three-run double.
"It stings when position players and starters fight so hard and play their tails off when it's like [105 degrees] outside," Diekman said. "To blow the game like that, it sucks."
Bullpen can smile: The Rockies had blown three straight save chances and blown late leads in four of their previous six games. It seemed iffy in the eighth when Jake McGee gave up Beltre's popup single -- one that Wolters, who had moved from catcher to shortstop, couldn't corral -- and hit Moreland. But McGee escaped with a strikeout and two fly balls despite a two-out wild pitch.
And Adam Ottavino, who blew his first save chance as the closer Monday night, struck out the side in a spotless ninth.
"Normally, it's just another game, but we really needed this win," Ottavino said. "I want to hug everybody in here, because we could've given in like five times in that game."
Beltre passed Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio with his 1,538th career RBI on a groundout in the third inning, placing him alone at No. 47 on the all-time list. After later adding a solo home run, he needs one more RBI to tie Willie Stargell and Harry Heilmann for No. 45 on the all-time list.
Banister lost a challenge on a close play at first following a ground ball to Andrus that resulted in a Rockies run. Cristhian Adames hit a grounder to Andrus' right and the shortstop made a jump throw to first, but the umpires ruled Adames safe on the close play as LeMahieu scored. They confirmed the call after a replay review and the Rockies' run stayed on the board.
Rockies: Rookie righty Jon Gray had a 0.69 ERA in the second half before surrendering eight runs in 3 2/3 innings of a loss to the Marlins at home on Sunday. That means Gray (8-5, 4.26 ERA), who has 13 quality starts out of 20 total this season, will look to rebound against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday at 5:05 p.m. MT.
Rangers: Yu Darvish will start the opener of a three-game set for the Rangers against the Tigers at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday at Globe Life Park. Darvish (2-3, 2.78 ERA) threw a season-high seven innings while not allowing a run and striking out eight against the Astros on Sunday.

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