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Rockies give back late lead in rocky eighth inning

Ottavino nearly escapes bases-loaded jam before Lamb's grand slam

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PHOENIX -- It's been a tough season for the Rockies. Between injuries and a current residence in the cellar of the National League West, not much has gone right.

But for a few moments, it looked like Friday's series opener with the similarly struggling D-backs would be a small bright spot.

Instead, it turned into a black hole as the Rockies bullpen gave up a lead in the eighth inning when Adam Ottavino allowed a grand slam to D-backs rookie Jake Lamb, sending the Rockies spiraling to a 5-2 loss at Chase Field.

"I thought he was going to do it again," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's going to find a way out of this."

And Ottavino nearly did despite being put in as bad of a situation as a reliever can find himself in.

Rex Brothers started the inning, but he issued three consecutive free passes to the top of the D-backs' lineup. He exited the game after throwing 17 pitches, 12 of which were balls and five of which were in the dirt.

"It was a bad performance," Brothers said. "I don't have anything, no excuse. … There's no room for that."

Ottavino came in and got the next two batters out, forcing Mark Trumbo to hit a grounder back to him so he could get the forceout at home and striking out Miguel Montero.

Up next with the last attempt to salvage the inning was Lamb, who had only one homer in his short career.

Lamb worked a 2-1 count before crushing a 97-mph fastball from Ottavino into the center-field concourse to give the D-backs a resounding 5-2 lead.

"I thought I had it," Ottavino said. "If I could have got one more strike, I think I would have had it because then there would have a little doubt in his mind about what was coming.

"But I misfired on two pitches to get to that situation, then I had to throw a strike. … Being conservative, I just tried to throw a strike, thinking I could overpower him."

Said Lamb: "I hit it good, but I didn't think I could get it up to dead center or left-center or whatever that was. I got it good."

Lamb's grand slam quickly ended what would have been an impressive comeback against the D-backs' bullpen and spoiled a solid start from rookie Christian Bergman.

The Rockies' offense struggled mightily against D-backs starter Josh Collmenter, who went 6 1/3 innings while giving up only one run on two hits. Collmenter allowed a hit to Charlie Blackmon to open the game, but he didn't allow another baserunner till the sixth inning, retiring 18 batters in a row.

"Location is the key for me. I'm not going to blow guys away," Collmenter said. "That's the key for me. That's my game. Location, deception and staying ahead of the hitters."

Bergman matched him for the early part of the game. Although he struggled with his command, walking five batters in 5 1/3 innings, he didn't allow a hit until the fifth. That hit -- one of two Bergman allowed -- came off the unlikely bat of Collmenter's.

"It was going well there for a little bit," Bergman said. "But I didn't even know I had a no-hitter going with all the baserunners going around."


No plans on limiting Matzek's workload

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PHOENIX -- With the abundance of injuries to pitchers this season, some teams are being cautious and limiting the innings their young pitchers throw. But there have been no plans to limit rookie starter Tyler Matzek entering the last month of the season.

"We'll monitor that … as we get into September, but there hasn't been any talk of that," manager Walt Weiss said.

Matzek, who will get the ball on Saturday against the D-backs, has thrown 84 innings in 15 games since the Rockies called him up in June. Combined with his 66 2/3 innings with Triple-A Colorado Springs, that's 150 innings on the 23-year-old's left arm -- more than he's ever thrown in a professional season.

Although he has never thrown that many innings since the Rockies drafted him in 2009, Matzek said he isn't feeling any adverse effects.

"Arm feels fine," Matzek said. "I had a good offseason this past offseason and built my body up to feel strong, so I'm feeling pretty good right now."

Matzek has had a rocky first season with Colorado. He's 3-9 with a 5.14 ERA, and his 4.35 FIP (fielding independent pitching) would tie him for 17th worst in the Majors if he ranked among qualified pitchers.

But his numbers naturally come with the caveats that he's a rookie pitching his first Major League season in the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the Majors, which he will likely continue to do through the end of the season without restriction.

"They haven't brought anything up to me because I feel fine, [velocity] feels fine, arm feels great," Matzek said. "So I don't think there's an issue right now."

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Anderson named Texas League Pitcher of the Year

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PHOENIX -- Rockies Minor League pitcher Tyler Anderson was named the Texas League's Pitcher of the Year on Thursday.

Anderson, the Rockies' No. 12 prospect, finished his season with Double-A Tulsa with a 6-4 record, a 2.08 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 112 1/3 innings pitched.

The 24-year-old Anderson led the circuit in ERA for pitchers with more than 15 starts and posted a 1.15 WHIP in his 22 outings. In 11 second-half starts, he was even better, posting a 1.66 ERA in 11 games.

Anderson missed Spring Training this season due to injury but got an invite to camp in 2013, when manager Walt Weiss got a chance to see him pitch.

"I've seen him enough to have a decent feel for who he is and what he does," Weiss said. "He obviously went out and had a tremendous season this year. [He is a] very good competitor. He's shown me the ability to pitch and shown that he has a feel for pitching.

"I think his velocity was up this year, so Tyler's in a good place."

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Matzek aims to build on recent success vs. D-backs

D-backs counter with Nuno in NL West matchup at Chase Field

Matzek aims to build on recent success vs. D-backs play video for Matzek aims to build on recent success vs. D-backs

The jump from Triple-A to the Major Leagues is a big one, and Rockies rookie left-hander Tyler Matzek is starting to work out what he needs to do to make up the difference.

Matzek, who will get the ball against the D-backs on Saturday, has had an inconsistent season, but he has looked better in his last two outings.

"Just starting to get the feel of things. Starting to feel a bit more comfortable out there," he said. "The nerves are starting to go away and I'm starting to settle in. I really think I'm starting to figure out what's needed to be successful."

After his ERA reached a season-high 5.50 following a six-inning, five-run outing against the Padres on Aug. 13, Matzek has tossed a pair a pair of quality starts. Most recently, he gave up only two runs in seven innings against the Giants.

"[I am] learning my strengths and sticking with them, how to attack different hitters, stuff like that," Matzek said. "There's a bunch of little, little things."

His Saturday opponent, Vidal Nuno, has also pitched well of late, going seven and 7 1/3 innings in his last two starts, respectively.

The D-backs are 1-8 in games Nuno has started, winning their first game behind him after his last outing on Aug. 23.

Rockies: Weiss tries to correct road woes
When the Rockies play at home, they hit like All-Stars. But when they leave the friendly confines of Coors Field, they struggle.

At home, the Rockies are hitting .317 as a team with an .884 on-base-plus slugging percentage, entering play Friday. For comparison, reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera has an .865 OPS this season.

But those numbers fall to .231 and .645, respectively, when the Rockies are on the road.

"That's the million-dollar question," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's something we've had to deal with in Colorado since we've had a club."

Weiss said that while Coors Field, the most hitter-friendly park in the Majors, contributes to the lofty numbers, his players need to alter their approach to have the same success on the road.

"It's well documented that Coors Field is a great place to hit, but I think it does come down to approach," Weiss said. "You've got to be able to cover the outer half of the late, two-strike approach has to be sound. You have to be able to hit the ball from line to line.

"If swings get big, as they have at times, then that's when you get exposed on the road."

D-backs: Reimold joins crowded outfield
The D-backs claimed outfielder Nolan Reimold off waivers from the Blue Jays on Thursday, but he may not have much time to see the field often.

Not only is Reimold joining the team less than a week before rosters expand on Sept. 1, but the D-backs also have a pair of outfielders set to come off the disabled list shortly.

Manager Kirk Gibson said both A.J. Pollock and Cody Ross could possibly return to the D-backs in the next week.

Reimold said he had a tough time getting into a rhythm with the Blue Jays.

"I started out real well. Then I had a little setback, and when I came back I got a lot of scattered at-bats and didn't get comfortable again," he said. "It was a bad 20 at-bats and see you later. I'm happy to be here and get another opportunity and make the best of it."

Reimold hit .212 in (11-for-52) in 22 games with the Blue Jays this season. He was with the Orioles to start the season while on the disabled list after undergoing his second neck surgery to repair a herniated disk. The Blue Jays claimed him after the Orioles designated him for assignment on July 6.

"It was kind of a whirlwind," Reimold said. "I changed teams for the second time now this year and the second time in my career, too. A lot of packing, moving and learning new names and doing all that kind of stuff."

Worth noting
• Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon leads the Majors in RBIs for leadoff hitters with 59. He has the most RBIs for a Rockies leadoff hitter since Eric Young Sr. had 74 in 1996.


Lyles scores lone Rockies run in loss to Giants

Righty solid for six, but Rox held to just four hits to cap low-scoring set

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Another game at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park for the Rockies, another rough game in the batter's box for their injury-depleted lineup.

The Rockies recorded just four hits on Thursday afternoon and lost to the Giants for a third consecutive game, 4-1. In the four-game series, the Rockies totaled just six runs.

"It's always a little weird when we get together," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's always tough scoring runs when you come in here. Not only because of the park, but because of the guys they've got taking the mound over there."

Thursday's opposing pitcher was Yusmeiro Petit, who was given the starting nod after Tim Lincecum's recent struggles banished him to the bullpen. Petit had his best start of the season, as he allowed just one run on the four hits and struck out nine in six innings. He made some history in the process, too.

Petit broke a Major League record in the third inning. His strikeout of Charlie Culberson gave him 46 consecutive retired batters, which broke Mark Buehrle's all-time record.

The streak was snapped one batter later when Rox starter Jordan Lyles roped a double to left. An ensuing single by Charlie Blackmon gave the Rockies their first run of the game.

"He started me off with a cutter, and I was just looking for another over the plate, and he left it over the plate a bit," Lyles said. "I'll definitely be a trivia question down the road somewhere."

Former Giants prospect Jackson Williams recorded his first Major League hit in the fifth inning. He's not sure where he'll display the ball, but did know that familiarity with Petit -- from working with him at Triple-A Fresno while in the Giants' organization -- helped in the batter's box.

"I knew what he could throw," Williams said. "It was just a matter of hitting it."

That's precisely what Gregor Blanco did to begin the scoring in the second.

Blanco launched a 2-1 offering from Lyles atop Levi's Landing to give the Giants a 2-0 lead in the second.

"I tried throwing a cutter up and in," Lyles said. "I left it over the plate and he got it up in the air."

The Giants added their third run in the sixth, when Hunter Pence's bases-loaded sacrifice fly scored Angel Pagan. They threatened to blow the game open in the seventh, but Matt Belisle pitched out of trouble after Buster Posey flied out to right with runners on the corners and two out.

Despite the three runs, Weiss was impressed by Lyles' serviceable first career start at AT&T Park. The 23-year-old righty gave up three earned runs on four hits and three walks in six innings.

"He kept us in position to strike late and win the game, so I thought Jordan definitely did his part," Weiss said. "[The starters] have done a pretty good job of that in the second half, even though we haven't won a lot of games."

Lyles saw things a bit differently.

"Too many walks," Lyles said after being asked if he was encouraged by his ability to minimize damage. "Shouldn't have put myself in that situation to start with."

Had his lineup generated a bit more offense, his glance back at the situation may have differed, but the Rockies only batted with a runner in scoring position twice, and four runners were stranded on base.

The Rockies were unable to muster a hit in three innings against the Giants' bullpen, and they have now lost 26 of their last 30 road games.


Rockies raise their game against rivals

Rockies raise their game against rivals

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies may be in last place in the National League West, but they've had a substantial impact on the top of the division standings.

The Dodgers hold a 4 1/2-game advantage on the Giants for first place. One key difference between the rivals? Their performances against the Rockies. Even with a 4-1 win over the Rox on Thursday, the Giants are just 7-8 against Colorado this season, while the Dodgers are 9-4.

Manager Walt Weiss said playing the role of spoiler was never on his mind as a player, and it's not as a manager, either. He wants his players' focus to center on something more important.

"It's more about earning respect, especially in a season that hasn't gone your way," Weiss said. "When you play those playoff-caliber clubs, you want to show that you can play with them, so I think it's more about having pride in your club and earning respect in the league."

The Rox have four remaining games with the Giants, three with the Cardinals and six with the Dodgers, so ample opportunity remains to earn respect by throwing a wrench into the NL playoff race.

So, what's with the above-.500 record against the Giants, against whom the Rockies have three comeback wins when trailing after eight innings?

"Coming here in particular, when you're playing against a team that's in the hunt, it does something to the atmosphere of the ballpark," said Weiss, who lists AT&T Park among his favorite parks in the Majors. "You can feel it. You can smell it. Naturally, you're going to pull from that adrenaline and the emotions of the atmosphere. It always feels like that when we come here."

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Replay confirms Rockies get Pence out at plate

Replay confirms Rockies get Pence out at plate play video for Replay confirms Rockies get Pence out at plate

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants unsuccessfully challenged an umpire's decision in the eighth inning of their 4-1 victory over the Rockies in which Hunter Pence was thrown out at home plate.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy believed that Colorado catcher Jackson Williams didn't get the tag down on Pence in time after receiving a throw from third baseman Nolan Arenado, who leaped to spear Matt Duffy's sharp grounder.

Video review of the play confirmed that Williams tagged out Pence in time, and there was no illegal blocking of the plate.

{"content":["replay" ] }

Rockies, Brewers unable to complete Morneau deal

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The Rockies and Brewers almost found a way to send Justin Morneau back into a pennant race.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Thursday that the Brewers and Rockies discussed a trade that would have sent Morneau to Milwaukee, but ultimately couldn't reach an agreement. Milwaukee successfully claimed Morneau off waivers but couldn't assemble the right pieces to convince Colorado.

Morneau is currently leading all NL players with a .317 batting average, and he's clubbed 14 home runs in 112 games for Colorado. The Brewers are playing veterans Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay at first base.

Morneau, a four-time All-Star and the 2006 AL Most Valuable Player, has regained his form after a few seasons affected by concussions. The veteran has played in the playoffs in three seasons, twice with Minnesota and last year with the Pirates after being acquired in August.

Morneau, 33, signed a two-year contract with the Rockies last December that includes a mutual option for 2016. Morneau has batted .310 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging mark at Coors Field and .325 with a .376 on-base and .500 slugging on the road.


Logan, Rosario placed on 15-day DL

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies announced Wednesday that lefty reliever Boone Logan (left elbow inflammation) and catcher Wilin Rosario (left wrist inflammation) were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Manager Walt Weiss said Wednesday that the troublesome elbow is nothing new for Logan, but he doesn't anticipate it requiring surgery.

To replace the pair, they recalled lefty Christian Friedrich and catcher Jackson Williams, who each were available for the team's Wednesday night game against the Giants.

Williams, who came up through the Giants organization, is hitting .256 with four home runs and 34 RBIs in 72 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs this season. The 28-year-old spent three days on the Major League roster in late June but did not appear in a game.

Friedrich returns to the Rockies a rejuvenated pitcher after a two-month banishment to the Minors.

He went 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA as he was rocked to the tune of 14 earned runs on 21 hits and eight walks during 13 1/3 innings in late June/early July.

After arriving at Triple-A, the former first-round pick was notified he'd spend the rest of the season in the bullpen. A lifelong starter, Friedrich wasn't initially very keen on the idea, but he quickly grew receptive to it and said Wednesday that the change has rejuvenated him.

"It's brought the aggressiveness back out, the competitive edge," Friedrich said. "Thinking about it one pitch at a time brings out a side of you that you might have lost sight of when you're thinking of the whole game as a big picture as a starter. It's been a smooth transition.

"You're trying to get an out with each pitch. That's not to say you weren't as a starter, but you set up guys as you go through the order for three different times. Right now, it's 'here it is, here's my stuff, let's see what you can do with it'."


Rockies rally in ninth, then lose on walk-off

Morneau's double ties it, but Nicasio gives up homer to SF's Posey

Rockies rally in ninth, then lose on walk-off play video for Rockies rally in ninth, then lose on walk-off

SAN FRANCISCO -- Entering play Wednesday, the Rockies were 3-67 when trailing after eight innings, with each victory coming against the Giants. They flirted with tacking on a fourth, but came up short.

The Rockies tied the game with a run off closer Santiago Casilla in the ninth, but a two-run blast into AT&T Park's left-field bleachers a half-inning later by Buster Posey off Juan Nicasio sent the Rockies to a 4-2 loss in walk-off fashion.

"He's locked in," manager Walt Weiss said of Posey, who also hit the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh and hit a pair of home runs on Tuesday night. "He's been a great hitter for a long time, and when he gets locked in, it's tough to get him out."

Through three games of this four-game set, Posey has tallied seven RBIs. The Rockies have scored just five runs.

"We can't figure out a way to get him out, but the way we were fighting and keeping the game close is where we need to be," Corey Dickerson said. "We just need to get a few more clutch hits."

This story could've been written much differently if they'd gotten one in the first.

The Rockies had a golden opportunity to put their one-hit showing on Tuesday night behind them in the first after Charlie Blackmon reached first on a throwing error by Michael Morse. He advanced to second one batter later on an errant pickoff attempt, but was stranded on the basepaths.

A night after being one-hit by Madison Bumgarner, the Rockies recorded just five and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

The offensive struggles wasted a fine outing from Franklin Morales. The Giants hit the ball hard early, and baserunners weren't hard to come by, but minimal damage was inflicted on Morales. He allowed just one run on seven hits and struck out six in six innings.

[The only run against Morales came in the fourth inning. Matt Duffy hit a one-out double and advanced to third after a single by Joe Panik, which gave the Giants runners on the corners for a third consecutive inning. The third time proved to be the charm as a perfectly executed safety squeeze by Gregor Blanco scored Duffy to give the Giants' a 1-0 lead.

"I felt like Franky [Morales] bent a little bit, but pitched out of trouble and did a great job going six innings and putting us in position to win," Weiss said. "It was a good game, but we ran into a real hot hitter there at the end."

Added Morales: "I tried to make my pitches and today was one of the days where I controlled myself and put everything together."

The same can be said about his counterpart, Tim Hudson, whose lone blemish in eight innings was a hanging sinker to Dickerson in the fifth that was blasted into McCovey Cove. The solo home run was the Rockies' first hit and the 100th to land in McCovey Cove -- the 34th by an opponent.

The Rockies went to the bullpen in the seventh. Nick Masset walked Angel Pagan, who advanced to second after Masset's errant pickoff attempt. After Masset walked Hunter Pence, Brooks Brown came in to face Posey, who produced a go-ahead RBI single.

Colorado got the run back in the ninth. Casilla plunked Drew Stubbs with his first pitch; Stubbs proceeded to score the tying run one batter later on a double by Justin Morneau. That simply set the stage for Posey's game-winner.


De La Rosa to make next start

De La Rosa to make next start play video for De La Rosa to make next start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jorge De La Rosa won't miss his next scheduled start, manager Walt Weiss confirmed before Wednesday night's game.

"His thumb is just bruised, so I don't think his next start is in jeopardy," Weiss said.

De La Rosa left Tuesday night's 3-0 loss to the Giants in the bottom of the sixth inning with a left thumb contusion after giving up a two-run homer to catcher Buster Posey. De La Rosa was seen shaking his hand after fouling off a pitch during his sixth inning at-bat.

"My thumb was really, really numb," De La Rosa said Tuesday. "I don't like to make excuses, but you can't pitch with that thing. I made that mistake for Posey and paid for it."

De La Rosa said it's similar to the thumb pain that caused him to miss the final two weeks of the 2013 season.

{"content":["injury" ] }

De La Rosa's start ends with thumb injury

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa left Tuesday night's 3-0 loss to the Giants in the bottom of the sixth inning with a left thumb contusion after giving up a two-run homer to catcher Buster Posey.

With one on and none out, Posey broke up a scoreless tie by depositing one into the left-field bleachers. Shortly after Posey finished rounding the bases, Rockies manager Walt Weiss and a team athletic trainer went out to the mound to speak with De La Rosa, who walked back to the dugout after a short consultation.

De La Rosa was seen shaking his hand after fouling off a pitch during his sixth inning at-bat.

"My thumb was really, really numb," De La Rosa said. "I don't like to make excuses, but you can't pitch with that thing. I made that mistake for Posey and paid for it."

De La Rosa said it's similar to the thumb pain that caused him to miss the final two weeks of the 2013 season, but that he will "for sure" make his next scheduled start Sunday against the D-backs.

"He's pitched with it a lot, but I think it was hurting pretty good this time," Weiss said. "I don't have any major concerns right now. We've seen this before with Jorge with his thumb. Hopefully it's just a bruised thumb again and he'll be fine."

De La Rosa was in the midst of a quality start, but the Rockies were being held scoreless by San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner, who completed a one-hitter. Right-handed reliever Matt Belisle was summoned from the bench to take over for De La Rosa.

{"content":["injury" ] }

Rockies stymied in one-hit shutout loss

Morneau's eighth-inning double breaks up perfect game

Rockies stymied in one-hit shutout loss play video for Rockies stymied in one-hit shutout loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies were six outs away from being on the wrong side of baseball history Tuesday night.

While Justin Morneau eventually wiped out a perfect game from Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner with a leadoff double in the eighth, the Rockies were outmatched in a 3-0 loss to San Francisco.

Morneau stood as the only man to reach base against Bumgarner all evening. After falling behind in the count, 1-2, Morneau laced a breaking ball down the right-field line to save his team from another dubious entry in Major League history. The Rockies had no desire to be back in the record books about two months after being no-hit by Clayton Kershaw.

"Once I got to two strikes, just trying to battle, trying to put the ball in play," Morneau said. "He made a pretty good pitch down, just got the barrel to it and hit it to the right spot. He did a great job of commanding his fastball. It was a very well-pitched game. Unfortunate we had to lose, but he did a great job."

From the early onset, it was clear that Bumgarner was dealing. The Rockies chased pitches out of the zone early and often, rarely making contact. When they did, the Giants' defense was there to back him up.

Bumgarner (15-9, 3.02 ERA) went the distance to complete a one-hitter, the second of his career. He also matched his career high with 13 strikeouts while going to a three-ball count on just one occasion. Conversely, he went ahead 0-2 on 15 batters while throwing 24 first-pitch strikes.

"That game was probably more impressive than a lot of no-hitters," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's how well he threw tonight."

As Bumgarner made his bid for history, Colorado lefty Jorge De La Rosa (13-9, 4.19 ERA) was pitching a heck of a game himself. But the southpaw was removed in the sixth inning after giving up a two-run shot to Buster Posey. The Rockies announced a left thumb contusion, incurred when De La Rosa fouled off a pitch during a plate appearance in the top half of the inning.

He allowed just three hits in five sharp innings to begin his outing, but seven of the initial 11 pitches he threw in the bottom of the sixth were out of the strike zone.

"My thumb was really, really numb," De La Rosa said. "I don't like to make excuses, but you can't pitch with that thing. I made that mistake for Posey and paid for it."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he doesn't think De La Rosa will missed extended time. It's the same thumb that hindered De La Rosa and caused him to miss the final two weeks of the 2013 season, but the veteran said he will "for sure" make his next scheduled start Sunday against Arizona.

"He's pitched with it a lot, but I think it was hurting pretty good this time," Weiss said. "I don't have any major concerns right now. We've seen this before with Jorge with his thumb. Hopefully it's just a bruised thumb again and he'll be fine."

Above all, Weiss was upset that De La Rosa couldn't finish his strong start on his own terms.

"He was cruising along, throwing the ball really well," Weiss said. "I think it certainly did affect him."

De La Rosa finished five-plus innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. After he exited, the Colorado bullpen allowed one run, another homer by Posey, over three innings to close out the contest.

Posey did what Colorado couldn't, and that was find a pulse vs. the opposing pitcher. Granted, the team has been without four of its top hitters lately -- Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario -- but Bumgarner consistently fooled the Rockies and made them wave at pitches they should have laid off.

"His fastball was just above the letters to where it looked good to hit but it wasn't a good pitch to hit," Nolan Arenado said after going 0-for-3. "He just pitched really well. Hit his spots and mixed everything really well. Got to give him credit, he did a great job."

{"content":["injury" ] }

Ailing wrist could land Rosario on disabled list

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The crowded Colorado disabled list could be adding another member in the near future. Before Tuesday night's contest against the Giants, Rockies manager Walt Weiss hinted that catcher Wilin Rosario's bothersome left wrist might keep him out longer than expected.

"He's been getting treatment and trying to swing the bat in the cage the past couple days," Weiss said. "But he's getting close to probably looking at a DL [stint] is what we're looking at. The wrist just isn't responding like we want."

Rosario has been out since Friday while Michael McKenry made his fourth straight start behind the plate Tuesday. Other top sluggers like Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer are currently on the disabled list for Colorado.

Outfielder Matt McBride has limited previous experience as a catcher in the Minor Leagues and the rosters are set to expand to 40 men Monday, but Weiss said the team would promote a catcher if Rosario lands on the 15-day disabled list.

"It's just too long to go without one," Weiss said. "But Matt can go back there and catch obviously. He hasn't done it during the season. He did it a lot during Spring Training for us, but we'd have to bring a guy in."

The only other catcher listed on Colorado's 40-man roster is Jackson Williams. The 28-year-old, who has never appeared in the big leagues, is currently batting .256/.353/.368 with four homers and 34 RBIs in 72 contests with Triple-A Colorado Springs.

{"content":["injury" ] }

Rockies shining at getting double plays

Rockies shining at getting double plays play video for Rockies shining at getting double plays

SAN FRANCISCO -- When it comes to turning two, there's been no better team in baseball than the Rockies.

The team's stellar defense was on display in Monday night's 3-2 win over the Giants, as Colorado matched its season high by turning four double plays to bring its total to a Major League-best 138.

"Any time a pitcher can make a pitch and get you a double play, it gives the team momentum and puts you in a good spot even if it's only two outs," shortstop Josh Rutledge said. "It's great that pitchers get rewarded for making a good pitch. That's one of the big things we've been working on since Spring Training because it gives you a certain level of comfort no matter who's there. I feel like we work on that as much as we do ground balls. It's paid off."

Manager Walt Weiss, who was a fine defensive shortstop during his 14-year playing career, attributed much of the team's defensive success to the work of third-base coach Stu Cole. Following Monday's victory, Weiss also praised the pitching staff for its ability to induce ground balls when needed.

But the statistic also speaks to the team's infield defense, especially on the left side. Reigning Gold Glover Nolan Arenado ranks first among National League third basemen in double plays (30) despite missing about six weeks due to injury, while Rutledge has filled in nicely for Troy Tulowitzki since he went out for the year.

"I think he's looking a lot more comfortable defensively," Weiss said of Rutledge. "He looks smooth to me out there right now. He's going left to right, finishing plays. It looks like there's a level of comfort right now that we're seeing that maybe it took him a little bit of time to get there."

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Story among four Rox prospects going to AFL

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DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies assigned four position players to the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday. But with some of their Minor League affiliates still having a slate of playoff games to go, the Rockies held off on selecting any pitchers.

Double-A Tulsa catcher/first baseman Ryan Casteel, shortstop Trevor Story and middle infielder Taylor Featherston each were included on the 35-man roster of the AFL's Salt River Rafters. Catcher Chris O'Dowd, son of Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd, was also chosen as the "taxi squad" member of the roster, meaning he's only active Wednesdays and Saturdays.

With Double-A Tulsa winning its division in the first half of the Texas League, Class A Ashville clinching a playoff spot and the Rookie-level Grand Junction Rockies also looking likely for the postseason, the Rockies will wait on naming their four pitchers.

If their workloads permit, right-hander Jon Gray, left-hander Tyler Anderson and right-hander Eddie Butler could all be options out of Double-A Tulsa.

The Rockies originally had Anderson on their AFL roster last season before pulling him out after discovering a stress fracture in his throwing arm. Butler made his Major League debut with the Rockies earlier this season but they could be looking for him to make up lost time after he missed over a month with right shoulder inflammation.

As for the players that have been decided, Story, the Rockies' No. 11 ranked prospect, is the most notable selection.

The 21-year-old has struggled since his promotion earlier this season and is batting .200 (37-for-185) with 74 strikeouts at the Double-A level. The Rockies will be hoping to see something closer to the .332 average and 17 doubles he posted for Class A Advanced Modesto through 50 games to begin the season.

Casteel has spent his entire season in Double-A, batting .274 (113-for-413) with 21 doubles, 16 homers and 56 RBIs.

Featherston has put up similar powers numbers at the same level this year with 31 doubles and 16 homers to go along with his .257 (121-for-471) batting average.

After beginning the season with Modesto, O'Dowd has hit .261 (30-for-115) with six doubles and 15 RBIs in 33 games with Tulsa this season.

Tulsa manager Kevin Riggs will also be acting as the hitting coach for the Rafters for this upcoming AFL season.

{"event":["prospect" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ] }

Morneau in rare company for Canadians

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SAN FRANCISCO -- With a pair of singles in Monday night's 3-2 victory over the Giants, Justin Morneau jumped into second place on the all-time hits list for Canadian-born players.

The veteran first baseman entered play Tuesday with 1,468 career hits, one more than 19th-century ballplayer George Wood. But even after adding a double in Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Giants, he still needs 691 more hits to match the all-time leader and former Rockies great Larry Walker.

"Any time you're second to him in anything, it's special," Morneau said. "Especially being a Canadian guy that I looked up to as a young guy. It's pretty cool, but I've got a long way to go."

So as Morneau was developing as a prep player and Walker was forging his career that included a 1997 MVP Award, Morneau identified with Walker closely. Morneau always had respect for other Canadians like Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins, but then there was Walker, another left-handed slugger from British Columbia.

"He was the guy for us growing up who really let us know that we could play in the big leagues, and let us know we can do well," Morneau said.

The Canadian duo has formed a relationship over the years. Walker used to send Morneau bats and has coached him in the World Baseball Classic, and the two share an agent. Morneau also fondly remembers making his Major League debut in 2003 against Walker and the Rockies.

It's no coincidence that Morneau has worn the No. 33 since his high school baseball and hockey days.

"Kind of surreal to think sometimes that we're playing for the same franchise wearing the same number," Morneau said. "Not too many people get to do that. I like to compare it to everyone who grew up and played basketball and watched Michael Jordan and wanted to wear No. 23. For me it was the same kind of thing for baseball."


Rockies take advantage to reward Matzek's start

Rookie pitches seven solid innings; four Giants errors help Colorado

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Blustery ballparks by the San Francisco Bay haven't been kind to the Rockies throughout their franchise history. But on Monday night, the Rockies capitalized on some sloppy play by San Francisco in a 3-2 victory.

In the process, Colorado ran its win streak in San Francisco to a franchise-best four games.

"It's been a house of horrors for us for a long time," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's great to see us win some games here, some tight games, some games in the past that we used to lose. Those one-run games like tonight, in the past the Giants would always seem to find a way to win those games. We've been putting those games away here. It's good to see."

It's always entertaining when these two teams meet, and Monday was no exception. In a contest marked by errors, a balk, a review challenge and close plays at the plate, the Rockies came out on top.

It also helped to have rookie southpaw Tyler Matzek on the mound. Despite entering the game with a five-game losing streak, Matzek (3-9, 5.14 ERA) tossed seven solid innings to earn his first win since July 26. He only needed 90 pitches to get through the outing, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven.

The 23-year-old said he and catcher Michael McKenry made an adjustment in the third inning that helped his offspeed stuff and led to five shutout innings to end his evening.

"They're an aggressive team," Matzek said. "I was just looking to make quality pitches and get early outs. When you do that and you have a great defense behind you, it usually turns out to be an efficient way to pitch a baseball game."

As Matzek noted, he benefitted from a solid defensive effort from his teammates, who turned four double plays on the evening. For the year, the Rockies have executed a National League-best 134 double plays.

"That's a testament to our pitchers being able to put it on the ground when they need to get two outs," Weiss said. "We've done a nice job of that, especially lately."

The first at-bat of the contest set the tone for what would become a bizarre ballgame.

Charlie Blackmon led it off with a slow roller to second base but reached because of a throwing error by Joe Panik. Then Blackmon moved to third on a bad pickoff throw by Giants starter Jake Peavy before coming around to score the game's first run on a Justin Morneau sacrifice fly.

Blackmon earned the praise of his manager for manufacturing a run by hustling, while the outfielder chalked it up to everyday effort.

"It's important to play the game like that," Blackmon said. "I don't know if the guy made a bad throw, or maybe he looked up and I was further down the line than he thought. You never really know, but I think if you put the pressure on, you're more likely to score runs."

More lapses by the Giants -- consecutive throwing errors by shortstop Brandon Crawford and an awkward balk by Peavy -- helped the Rockies reclaim a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning.

"I was just picking my leg up; Morneau couldn't have timed it any better," Peavy said after giving up three runs (one earned) in seven innings. "As I was picking my leg up, he was starting to go. You're going to home plate and then you hear 'Step off,' and I tried to hop off the back of the mound. Crazy night, all the way around."

San Francisco leveled the score at 1 when Buster Posey drove home Angel Pagan in the first inning with an RBI single. Catcher Andrew Susac hit a solo shot against Matzek in the second to give the Giants a short-lived 2-1 lead, but they couldn't manufacture much more offense as Matzek settled down.

Matzek also played a role in a wild sequence in the seventh, when it appeared that he was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the inning. But after a Giants replay challenge, the umpires determined that DJ LaMahieu was actually thrown out at the plate earlier in the play, despite being ruled safe originally. An inning later, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

"It never ceases to amaze me," Weiss said of the wild game.

The victory marked Colorado's third straight and sixth in eight contests. Even with Matzek's pitch count at 90, Weiss said he had no hesitation to tap Adam Ottavino for a scoreless eighth before LaTroy Hawkins closed out the ninth to record his 21st save in 22 chances.

"He's had a hell of a year for us," Weiss said. "That was his third night in a row, pushing the envelope a little bit there. But our bullpen was pretty beat up because of the last series we had at home, and Hawk answered the bell again."


Arenado adds to Rockies' weekly awards haul

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SAN FRANCISCO -- For a team that's sitting in the cellar of the National League, Colorado has been staying remarkably busy collecting awards this season. Nolan Arenado was named NL Player of the Week on Monday, the second straight time a Rockies player has won the award and fifth overall, the most of any team in baseball.

"It's awesome," Arenado said. "Being on a team with one of the worst records in the Major Leagues, to be noticed for something, it's big. It's always cool to be noticed. But ultimately a lot of the credit goes to my teammates and thank God they're helping me out with that."

Arenado accomplished the feat one week after outfielder Corey Dickerson earned the distinction, also joining Charlie Blackmon, Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau.

In early July, Arenado was playing catch-up after returning from a 40-day stint on the disabled list with a finger injury. He wrapped up this past week with a .545 (12-for-22) batting average, seven extra-base hits, including three homers, three RBIs and six runs scored.

"When you take six weeks off, every [pitcher] looks harder," Arenado said. "The month I was struggling, it felt like Spring Training when everyone else was in midseason form. It was tough. ... Lately things have been working out. Not so much that I'm getting hits, but I'm going to the plate and I'm feeling good. I feel like I'm seeing the ball pretty good."

Arenado, who batted .267 last year, has been able to improve his offensive numbers across the board despite missing major protection in the lineup. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he's been happy with Arenado's production at the plate while Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer have each missed time with injuries. The reigning Gold Glover at third base has also maintained his stellar brand of defense.

"Nolan had a great homestand," Weiss said. "Some big hits and obviously the defense. You don't win Player of the Week because of your defense, unfortunately. It usually comes out to your offensive statistics unfortunately. He's playing the same stellar defense and swinging the bat. It is good that he's starting to get his due in this league."

{"content":["replay" ] }

Giants' challenge takes away Rockies' run

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SAN FRANCISCO -- An already weird Monday night at AT&T Park grew odder in the top of the seventh inning.

Hunter Pence's throw home arrived well before DJ LeMahieu crossed home plate, but home-plate umpire Doug Eddings ruled LeMahieu to have crossed home before Andrew Susac applied the tag. Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the call, and after review, it was overturned.

The ruling kept the Giants within one run.

With the successful challenge, Bochy is now 21-for-32 in reviews.

{"content":["replay" ] }
{"content":["injury" ] }

Rosario remains out; McKenry starts vs. Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies were hopeful that Wilin Rosario would be able to return to the starting lineup against the Giants at AT&T Park on Monday night, but the catcher's left wrist injury kept him out for a third straight start.

"It's not easy to play with this," Rosario said. "It was my hand, the one that holds the glove and everything. ... When I'm catching I don't feel that bad. It's when I try to swing. I swing hard and I think that's one of the big reasons."

Rosario, who's batting .248/.289/.399 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs this year, also missed some action in April due to a left wrist injury but said it's not as serious this time. He's hoping to return to the starting lineup during the four-game set in San Francisco, while manager Walt Weiss said Rosario was available as a pinch-hitter Monday if needed.

Mike McKenry earned his third straight start Monday, following an impressive weekend when he caught 13 innings Saturday and then hit a homer in his first at-bat Sunday. McKenry, 29, entered the series with a .339/.424/.541 slash line in 125 plate appearances.

"McKenry's done a great job for us since he's been with us," Weiss said. "Swinging the bat really well. Brings a good feel for the game back there with our pitchers. He helps our pitchers get through the outing and gives them a lot of good information. It's been good for us."

McKenry has also performed well at AT&T Park this season, recording a hit in each of his team's three contests in June against the Giants, when the Rockies left town with a sweep. It's been something special to McKenry, who followed the Giants as a youngster despite growing up in Tennessee.

"One of my first Little League teams was the Giants and you know how that is," McKenry said. "You get that first hat. I remember I got hit in the face and had a bloodstain all over the hat. My parents were, like, 'We need to get you a new hat.' I'm, like, 'No way, this is my hat.' I think I had it all the way up through high school. I couldn't let go of the hat."

{"content":["injury" ] }
{"content":["injury" ] }

Arenado rewarded for big week with NL honor

After hitting .545, Rockies' third baseman secures award for first time

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Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado has earned his first career National League Player of the Week Award after leading the Majors in slugging over the last week.

Arenado slugged 1.045 and also led the NL with a .545 average (12-for-22). He posted a .600 on-base percentage and tallied 12 hits, 23 total bases, three homers, three RBIs, three doubles, six runs and a triple.

Arenado began the week with a three-hit game on Tuesday, which included a solo homer. He then tripled and scored twice on Wednesday to help Colorado split its series against the American League Central-leading Royals.

On Friday, Arenado tied a career high -- achieved three other times -- with four hits in the Rockies' series opener against the Marlins, reaching base five times. He had two more hits on Saturday and scored the game-winning run, then finished the weekend on Sunday with his third straight multihit game.

Arenado has already tied his RBI total (52) from last season.


Bergman picks up first career win in return to Rockies

Right-hander comes back from hand injury to help attain series win

Bergman picks up first career win in return to Rockies play video for Bergman picks up first career win in return to Rockies

DENVER -- After using all eight relievers in a 13-inning win Saturday night, the Rockies desperately needed starter Christian Bergman to go deep in the game Sunday.

And that was far from given, seeing how Bergman had not pitched for the Rockies in two months and was making his fourth career start.

But he worked into the seventh and came away with his first Major League win as the Rockies beat the Marlins, 7-4, in the rubber game of their series to complete a 6-3 homestand.

Bergman suffered a broken bone in his left (non-pitching) hand when he was hit with a line drive in the third inning June 20. So he took the mound Sunday with a resume of 15 Major League innings and showed his rust by issuing two walks in the first, but he escaped unscathed.

"I just had to get a little bit of that extra energy out in the first inning," Bergman said. "I wouldn't say I was nervous, just kind of the excitement of being back out there. And once I got that out, I just kind of settled in and tried to attack the strike zone and get some quick innings."

Indeed, after throwing 38 pitches in the first two innings, Bergman got through the next four on a mere 43 pitches. He worked a career-high 6 1/3 innings, leaving after Christian Yelich and Jeff Baker hit back-to-back doubles with one out in the seventh and Giancarlo Stanton followed with a single that cut the Rockies' lead to 5-4.

The Rockies jumped on Brad Hand (2-6) for three runs in the first. Blackmon opened the inning with a single, and Drew Stubbs hit what looked like a possible double-play grounder to shortstop but beat the throw to first.

Nolan Arenado followed with a two-run homer, his 14th home run of the season. And two batters later, Michael McKenry hit his fifth homer.

"I gave the opposition a three-run lead in the first inning," Hand said, "and when I put my team in that situation, it's hard to come back from."

It's easier at Coors Field, but the Marlins managed to parlay 11 hits, including five doubles and two sun-aided triples, into just four runs, getting at least one runner aboard in seven innings but stranding eight runners.

DJ LeMahieu gave the Rockies breathing room in the seventh with a bases-loaded double with one out that drove in two runs and completed the scoring.

Closer LaTroy Hawkins retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his 20th save in 21 chances and preserve Bergman's milestone victory.

Bergman got 15 outs on balls hit in the air, 10 of which went to the outfield, but limited the Marlins to two hits in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"Fastball command was a little off today," Bergman said. "Got a little better as I went on. Didn't throw a whole lot of changeups. But when I did they were good. Was really just a steady diet of fastballs and cutters and sliders."

Bergman gave up two runs in the second when Hechavarria tripled with one out as right fielder Charlie Blackmon lost the ball in sun. Jeff Mathis followed with a run-scoring double, and with two outs, Yelich singled to cut the Rockies' lead to 3-2.

But just as Stubbs did in the first, Blackmon's hustle in the sixth proved crucial when he stretched a single into a double at the expense of right fielder Stanton and scored on Stubbs' double to give the Rockies a 5-2 lead.

"It's a situation where he's so far from second where if he comes up and does anything but throw the ball to second, I have a chance to get there," Blackmon said. "There was an opportunity to do it last night, but I felt it wasn't the time. Today, being they had two outs, even if I get thrown out, Drew Stubbs leads off the next inning."

{"content":["injury" ,"transactions" ] }

Cuddyer hits DL with hamstring injury

Outfielder improving, but shelved for third time this season

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DENVER -- Two days ago, right fielder Michael Cuddyer was adamant about not going on the disabled list with a sore left hamstring and said, "You can put that in bold letters." On Sunday, after he was placed on the disabled list, Cuddyer said, "Foot in mouth, right?"

The Rockies had to clear a spot on their active and 40-man rosters for Christian Bergman, who came off the 60-day disabled list to start Sunday. Right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who underwent season-ending surgery Aug. 18 to relieve the patellar tendinitis in his left knee, was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Bergman. And Cuddyer was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season.

"No question, I'm getting better," Cuddyer said. "But with everybody sore that can do more than me, I'm the low man on that totem pole. I'm just the most limited of everybody. And unfortunately, I'm the guy that has to be sacrificed for the roster spot."

Cuddyer will travel with the Rockies on their seven-game road trip that begins Monday at San Francisco but is not eligible to be activated until Sept. 8.

"It wasn't an easy move to make, because I feel he's probably a few days away [from returning]," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's fought so hard to get back on the field. It's been a tough year for him physically. I didn't want to have to make that move. But our bench is beat up. Obviously our bullpen is pretty taxed right now. It's going to be tough to survive even a few days as short-handed as we are right now, so we had to make that move."

The move could have been made retroactive to Monday, but in the Rockies' 5-4 win in 13 innings on Saturday, Cuddyer pinch-hit and walked in the 12th inning and was then lifted for a pinch-runner.

Catcher Wilin Rosario was unable to hit Saturday due to a sore left wrist, and Weiss said he didn't want to use first baseman-outfielder-catcher Matt McBride because he "was our multi-purpose guy," whom Weiss wanted to keep on the bench if the game went extremely long.

Had that happened, Weiss said he would have been "strapped" with Cuddyer on the bench. But Weiss said when he sent Cuddyer up to pinch-hit, he didn't think Cuddyer would have to go on the disabled list Sunday.

Cuddyer, 35, will be a free agent after this season, the final one of his three-year, $31.5 million contract. He has played in 34 games and is hitting .331 with six homers and 19 RBIs. This season, he missed 25 games due to a left hamstring strain -- that injury was behind the knee, unlike this one is in the upper area of the hamstring -- and then missed 60 games with a fractured left shoulder socket.

"What I love to do is play the game," Cuddyer said. "Obviously this year has been rough. You feel like you're not living up to your end of the bargain. It's not by choice, obviously. Physically things have been rough this year -- one thing after another."

{"content":["injury" ,"transactions" ] }

Hawkins happy for Chicago Little League team

Hawkins happy for Chicago Little League team

DENVER -- Closer LaTroy Hawkins was excited to see the Jackie Robinson West team from Chicago reach the finals of the Little League World Series on Sunday against a team from South Korea.

Hawkins was one of several Major League players who donated money so parents of the players could travel to the tournament in South Williamsport, Pa. The Chicago team lost to South Korea in Sunday's championship game, 8-4.

"I'm happy for them, excited for the kids," said Hawkins, who grew up in Gary, Ind. "It's a dream come true. Every Little Leaguer from the time Little League started until now, that's their dream to make it to the [Little League] World Series. To go on the run that they went on does a lot, especially for African-American league baseball. Other kids around the country, around the world, see those kids playing and want to play some baseball, too. So it's a lot larger than just playing the championship today.

"And they don't even know it. They're just playing baseball.

After the Illinois team came back to beat Nevada on Saturday to reach Sunday's championship game, Hawkins said he sent a one-word text to Bill Haley, the Jackie Robinson West Little League director. Hawkins' message was "Wow."


Rosario hoping to return Monday from wrist soreness

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DENVER -- Catcher Wilin Rosario was unable to pinch-hit Saturday night due to left wrist soreness. And although Michael McKenry caught the entire 13-inning game Saturday night, he was back in the lineup Sunday afternoon and homered during his first at-bat.

Rosario said he planned to hit in the indoor batting cage Sunday and hoped to be able to play Monday at San Francisco. He said he injured the wrist sliding Wednesday against Kansas City and the injury was similar to one he sustained earlier this season against Arizona, also while sliding.


Dickerson forces extras, lifts Rockies in 13th

Outfielder hits tying homer in ninth, rips walk-off single to reward 'pen

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DENVER -- Corey Dickerson's motto is hit the ball hard and let the details work themselves out.

In the 13th inning Saturday -- a night when his ninth-inning homer into the third deck in right field created extra innings -- Dickerson lined a single to right to drive in the winning run in the Rockies' 5-4 victory over the Marlins in front of 31,109 at Coors Field.

Dickerson's winning liner, off Sam Dyson (2-1), was almost too hard to end the four-hour, 28-minute game. Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton had time to throw to the plate and nearly erase Nolan Arenado, whose double had opened the inning.

"I knew he [third-base coach Stu Cole] was going to send him," said Dickerson, who grounded out with the bases loaded against Dyson in the Rockies' 13-5 loss Friday night, but waited for the second pitch to win Saturday's game. "Being the 13th inning, it was the right decision, even though Stanton has a great arm. He made a good throw, and luckily Nolan beat it."

The game had seemed to slip through the Rockies' fingertips. The Marlins took a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth when Adeiny Hechavarria's high, one-hop bounce ticked off the end of pitcher LaTroy Hawkins' glove for an RBI single.

But Dickerson led off the bottom of the inning by sending a 3-1 sinker from Marlins closer Steve Cishek deep into the night for his 19th homer this season. It was the 33rd third-deck homer in Coors Field history, and it handed Cishek his fourth blown save in 35 chances this season.

The one strike of the at-bat came when Dickerson swung off-balance. But when the time came, he kept his legs in good position and did batting practice-type damage.

"I've done it a couple of times in BP," Dickerson said. "We joke around and they tell me, 'Do it in a game.' I got a good pitch and put a good swing on it. It was pretty awesome that it went that far."

The Rockies have won five games in a nine-game homestand that concludes Sunday. It's their first winning homestand since May 1-6. They won 3-of-5 in a May 16-22 homestand, but there is a suspended game with the Giants -- which will conclude Sept. 1 -- hanging in the balance.

"You see the fight we have in these games," said Brandon Barnes, who hit his seventh homer of the season, a two-run shot in the third against Marlins starter Tom Koehler. "What's that? Three come-from-behind wins in this homestand?"

Rockies reliever Matt Belisle (4-6) threw a 1-2-3 13th. The inning ended with a spinning throw by Arenado, whose play was the Rockies' answer to Hechavarria's running over-the-head catch to rob Justin Morneau of a possible game-winning hit in the bottom of the 12th.

"That would have been a tough one to lose after coming close so many times," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Belisle, who fanned one, was one of eight Rockies relievers who combined for 11 strikeouts and no walks. Colorado relievers walked seven in Friday night's loss.

On Saturday, Rex Brothers entered with two out and runners at first and third, then fanned Garrett Jones in a left-on-left confrontation to end the sixth. Juan Nicasio and Boone Logan did their jobs after having pitched Friday, and Adam Ottavino struck out two with one on to end the eighth. Hawkins gave up three hits, all with two out, but struck out two in the ninth.

Nick Masset threw the 10th and 11th, benefiting from a diving play by shortstop Josh Rutledge to start a double play in the 11th. Brooks Brown had a spotless 12th after having thrown two innings Friday. Belisle also pitched Friday.

"We kind of reversed what we did the night before," Masset said. "You could tell everyone was a little angry."

Rockies starter Jordan Lyles came out break-even on a difficult night. Lyles, who pushed across the Rockies' first run when he grounded into a double play with runners at first and third in the third inning, gave up seven hits and three runs, and he struck out five in five innings. He walked five, one with the bases loaded, and hit a batter, but left with the score tied at 3.

The Marlins left 15 on base.

"In one-run games in this ballpark, that's tough," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "You can put a big number up quick and in one swing. But we had chances. We had a lot of chances."


LeMahieu admits changing too much during slump

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DENVER -- Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu's talks with himself were interesting over the last two weeks, as he slipped into a hitting slump he couldn't explain.

"I talked to myself, good and bad," LeMahieu said. "I tried both approaches. Something was obviously wrong. It's one of those things where when you're in, you think you're never going to get out of it."

LeMahieu was 4-for-61 before delivering hits in his first three at-bats and finishing 3-for-4 in Friday night's 13-5 loss to the Marlins at Coors Field.

"I've lost a lot of sleep the last two weeks, that's for sure," LeMahieu said. "Hopefully I can continue it."

If anything, the slump showed that even the most consistent of players can have one. LeMahieu was hitting .291 through July 28. He went into Saturday night's game against the Marlins at .260. The work ethic didn't change. He's not sure exactly what went wrong, but he believes he overreacted.

"I switched bats all the time and switched batting gloves," LeMahieu said. "I'm usually a pretty consistent player and I don't change too much, but I found myself changing quite a bit. That might have had something to do with it."

LeMahieu said his bats and gloves aren't much different. But he clicked Friday after studying tape and getting a feel in the batting cage.

"First at-bat I got a hit, and it gave me a little more confidence in the next three at-bats," LeMahieu said. "I knew eventually I was going to get out of it, but it took me a little longer than I thought. I'll continue to work hard in the cage. Just because I got three hits doesn't mean I'm going to continue."


Inexperienced Barnes a seasoned pro off bench

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DENVER -- The sparkplug off the bench often is a highly experienced player, but the Rockies' Brandon Barnes is excelling despite being in just his second full season.

Barnes' triple in the ninth inning of Friday night's 13-5 loss to the Marlins was his Majors-leading 15th pinch-hit, and no pinch-hitter has as many triples as Barnes' three.

At 28, after going through a long Minor League apprenticeship before finally starting for the Astros in center field much of last year, Barnes has everyday dreams. But he has put full effort into the role available to him. He started Saturday night against the Marlins and carried a .255 batting average with six home runs and 20 RBIs. He's batting .288 as a pinch-hitter.

"I handle the role like I'm 12 years old, only with a more mature approach," Barnes said. "I love the game. Whether it's as a regular player, spot-starting or coming off the bench, I love watching the game, I love playing the game. Whatever is asked of me, I'm going to do to the best of my abilities.

"Coming off the bench isn't easy, but it's something I take pride in. I'm always ready. In the third inning, I'm stretching, warming up, hitting a little bit, watching video of guys I might possibly face, and keeping an eye on the starting pitcher. I, in my heart, think I can play every day, but that's not what's asked of me right now. That's fine with me."


Fastball command helping Ottavino find groove

After rocky June, Rockies right-hander rediscovering dominant form

Fastball command helping Ottavino find groove play video for Fastball command helping Ottavino find groove

DENVER -- Adam Ottavino's slider has long been known to make a grown man cry. And with his fastball back to consistently touching 97 mph this month, scouts are now jumping back aboard the right-hander's bandwagon as a future closer.

Despite surrendering 14 runs in 11 2/3 innings in June, Ottavino never doubted his potential as the last man on the mound.

"I think I could do it," Ottavino said. "I've felt that way for a while. But my job is to pitch when they tell me to pitch."

When Ottavino's closer hype train first left the station in the first two months of the season, he found himself being told to pitch quite often. He appeared in 27 of the Rockies' first 55 games. On June 1, Ottavino found himself sitting on a 1.46 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP.

But after watching opponents bat an absurd .537 on balls put in play against Ottavino over the next 30 days, it would have been easy for him to second-guess himself. At the very least, no one would have blamed him if he fell back on his bread-and-butter slider, a pitch that has held opponents to a lifetime .200 average.

Ottavino took a decidedly different route.

Determined to master his fastball command, Ottavino stuck with his repertoire even through the rough patch. This season, he's throwing his fastball for a strike 21.8 percent of the time, more than doubling his previous career rate.

"I think it's just getting into a groove," Ottavino said. "Relief pitchers especially, we try to get into a groove and stay there. ... Sometimes it's hard to see all the progress that you've made, but I know I've made progress over the last few years with my fastball command, and it's starting to show up in the games more and more."

It has certainly showed up from July on. Since Ottavino's ERA ballooned to as high as 4.63 on June 25, he's posted a 2.25 ERA over his last 22 appearances.

"With a relief pitcher, they're going to go through cycles were they get some dead arm and bounce back," manager Walt Weiss said. "I think Otto is one of those bounce-back periods right now."

Ottavino's extreme distaste for walks is the reason Weiss stuck with him during his brief downturn. Beyond LaTroy Hawkins' impending club option and Rex Brothers' struggles, it's also what could make Ottavino the leading candidate for Colorado's ninth-inning duties next season.

Ottavino is striking out four batters for each free pass this season, a career-best rate that leads all Rockies pitchers with at least 15 innings pitched.

Stats like that are why Weiss has called upon Ottavino to pitch without rest 15 times and make nine appearances of multiple innings.

One of those multiple-inning outings came last Friday against the Reds. Ottavino got a chance to prove himself in that final frame of a 2-2 game following his 1-2-3 eighth. Despite right-handed batters hitting .236 against Ottavino over his four-year career, Kris Negron poked a go-ahead single into center with two outs and runner on second.

"I'll take Otto in that situation every time against a right-handed bat trying to get that last out," Weiss said after Ottavino took his fourth loss of the season.

The next time Colorado took the field, Weiss gave Ottavino a chance to hold another tie in the eighth inning of Game 2 of a doubleheader vs. Cincinnati. Ottavino responded with a scoreless frame, striking out two -- including Negron -- before earning his first win of 2014 thanks to the Rockies' five-run eighth-inning rally.

In his most recent outing on Tuesday, Ottavino had his same electric stuff against the Royals, just without the same results. Taking over for left-hander Tyler Matzek with two on and two out, Ottavino served up back-to-back doubles to blow a 2-1 lead.

Although no starter likes to be pulled in that situation, Matzek can't think of another pitcher to whom he'd feel more comfortable handing the ball.

"Obviously, I wanted to say in there and finish the job," Matzek said. "But I trusted Otto. And I trust him 100 percent."

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