Estevez, Ottavino rebound for Rockies 'pen

Relievers finish off D-backs after back-and-forth start

Estevez, Ottavino rebound for Rockies 'pen

DENVER -- After giving up eight runs in the final two frames of their last game, the Rockies needed a good bullpen showing to get that game out of their collective memory.

Friday's 14-7 win over the D-backs was exactly what the doctor ordered, with Jordan Lyles, Carlos Estevez and Adam Ottavino combining to allow just three baserunners -- albeit with two runs on A.J. Pollock's homer -- over four innings.

Ottavino, in particular, had a bad outing in Wednesday's 10-8 loss to the Dodgers with a blown save and five runs given up. After the game, he said he wanted to get back on the mound as soon as possible following Thursday's off-day.

"I actually came to the field for a little bit just to blow off some steam," Ottavino said. "I saw my parents and went to a show last night and tried to do everything normal. But the last thing I wanted to do was sit in my apartment and think about it."

In the end, Ottavino delivered. He pitched a clean ninth -- his 23rd scoreless appearance in 25 outings -- and struck out Welington Castillo and Yasmany Tomas to end the game.

"I tried to keep it the same this time because I had a tough two days after that last game," Ottavino said. "I was going in there coming for blood. I didn't care how it turned out, but I was going to go as hard as I could one way or another."

When Ottavino started warming up for the ninth inning, the game was tied at seven. But then Nolan Arenado drove in one run, DJ LeMahieu scored another, and then the team was suddenly up by seven runs after back-to-back home runs, including Nick Hundley's grand slam.

Estevez wasn't charged with any runs Wednesday, but he allowed both inherited runners to score in two-thirds of an inning. Friday, he pitched a clean eighth with one strikeout.

"I feel really good right now," Estevez said. "I feel like I'm back on track. I was just hitting my spots and getting ahead and putting guys away after getting two strikes. That's all I needed. Make them hit the ball."

The Rockies' 5.01 bullpen ERA is third-worst in baseball, but the talent is evident. For instance, Estevez, 23, regularly hits triple digits on the radar gun, but his inconsistency has led to a 4.84 ERA.

"It was good to see him put that inning down," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We have guys with the weapons to get it done, but we need to build on some small successes and finish strong.

"That's the challenge in this league. It's tough as a young player in this league. You go through growing pains, everyone one of them. Those are opportunities to get better when you struggle as a young better."

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.