On a night when their top-rated run-scoring offense had an off night, the Colorado Rockies were bailed out by a second straight outstanding pitching performance in a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Franklin Morales held the Giants to one run on seven hits over seven innings Tuesday night and improved his record to 2-1 and his ERA to 3.86.
It was the second straight one-run outing for Morales, who held the Padres to four hits in San Diego last Thursday in a 3-1 Rockies win. Over those two games he has recorded 12 strikeouts. The Rockies are now 12-10 on the season and are winners of five of their last six games.
The pitching performance for Morales could not have come at a better time as the Rockies, whose offense leads the league with almost 5.2 runs per game, could muster only two runs on nine hits. Both of the home team’s runs came on solo homers—Troy Tulowitzki in the fourth inning and Nolan Arenado in the fifth.
The Giants’ only run off of Morales came on a two-out home run by Hunter Pence in the fifth inning. This was only the second start of the season for Morales, who was relegated to the Colorado bullpen when Tyler Chatwood returned to the starting rotation for the Rockies. He was reinserted as a starter when Brett Anderson suffered a broken finger in San Francisco two weekends ago. It will certainly be an interesting decision for manager Walt Weiss when Jhoulys Chacin is activated from the disabled list sometime later this month or early May.
Even though the Rockies offense did not score a lot of runs, they still scratched out nine hits against San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner, who went the distance for the Giants while striking out six and allowing one walk. Brandon Barnes, hitting in the lead-off spot, went 2-4 and raised his average to .324. The only other Colorado batter to have two hits was Justin Morneau who also was 2-4 and is now hitting .347. Seven of the Rockies’ eight position players had hits, with only D.J. LeMahieu taking the collar with no hits in two at-bats.
In addition to leading the league in scoring, the Rockies also continue to lead in team batting average (.299) and slugging percentage (.478). They are second in on-base percentage at .351. The Rockies played Tuesday’s game without two of their most prolific hitters in the lineup. Last year’s NL batting leader, Michael Cuddyer, was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 18 because of a hamstring injury. Carlos Gonzalez, who is tied for the club lead in home runs (4) with Charlie Blackmon, was held out of the game with a knee injury. He is day-to-day.
The Rockies’ offense will try to return the favor and help the pitching Wednesday as they go for a series sweep against the Giants at Coors Field. Tyler Chatwood, who shut out the Phillies for seven innings last Friday, will man the mound for the Rockies against the Giants’ Matt Cain, who is 0-3 this season with one no-decision.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies