HOUSTON -- Rockies right-hander Jeremy Guthrie was cool at the worst moment of Colorado's 5-3 victory over the Astros in Friday's opener. Realizing his job is to pitch deep into games, and knowing that the path isn't always easy, Guthrie shrugged off consecutive home runs by Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic in the fourth inning that tied the game at 3. Guthrie didn't allow a run after that and made it through seven innings. He gave up three runs on four hits and three walks.
The Rockies' staff had become younger than the club preferred after last season. One way the Rockies changed that was by trading pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to the Orioles for Guthrie on Feb. 6. "He was as advertised tonight -- seven strong innings," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He gave up a couple of home runs. But solo home runs do not beat you. What was intriguing to me was, after the second one got hit, he took the next ball and just started firing the next series of pitches right into the strike zone. "As a result of doing that and not picking and walking a guy to shorten his start and force more bullpen, he pitched us right to the back end of our bullpen." Guthrie walked a batter in the first and second innings. The first walk led to Lee's RBI single in the first. But after the homers, he gave up one hit and one walk the rest of his outing. "It allowed us to regroup," Guthrie said. "We went right back at it, battling, and were able to scratch ahead."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.