Even when one of their most dependable players has an off night, the Colorado Rockies are finding ways to win on the road.
While Brian Fuentes probably hopes to get another crack at the Florida Marlins, the Rockies look to improve upon the NL’s best road record on Saturday as the teams continue a three-game series Saturday at Dolphin Stadium.
A 7-3 record in one-run games has helped Colorado move atop the NL West, and the Marlins’ 1-6 mark in such contests is a big reason they’re last in the NL East.
That’s the way this series started, with Clint Barmes driving in the go-ahead run with a 10th-inning single to give the Rockies a 3-2 victory.
Colorado (13-10) improved to 4-0 in extra-inning games.
“There is a lot of confidence floating around in this clubhouse,” said Barmes, who has driven in a run in five straight games. “We don’t give up. We’ve been down late in a few games, and we’ve come back.”
Fuentes blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth without giving up a hit, and Josh Willingham’s sacrifice fly allowed Florida to tie the game. Fuentes, a left-hander, had converted a franchise-record 21 consecutive save opportunities.
It was just the second run allowed in 10 appearances by Fuentes, who has given up three hits in 10 innings.
Despite his bad outing, the Rockies’ road record improved to 8-3. The only team in the majors with a better mark away from home is Detroit at 11-4.
“One good thing about our ballclub—when we make mistakes, we don’t look in the rear-view mirror,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “We keep looking forward. We throw some dirt over it and move on.”
The Rockies, who were 27-54 away from home last season, have never finished with a winning road record in their 13 years of existence. They will match a franchise record for road wins in April with one more victory—the 1997 team went 9-4.
Colorado right fielder Brad Hawpe homered for the second straight day Friday, and is hitting .435 (10-for-23) over the last five games.
The Rockies have at least one home run in all 11 road games, their longest such streak since doing it in 13 straight in 1997.
That’s good news for Josh Fogg (2-1, 4.76 ERA), who goes to the mound for Colorado looking to bounce back from his worst start of the season. The right-hander allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings of a 6-5 defeat Monday at Philadelphia.
Fogg is 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA in his last six starts against the Marlins, and has held Florida’s Miguel Cabrera to 3-for-14 (.214) with no homers.
Cabrera drew two walks Friday, raising his team-leading total to 15, but finished 0-for-3. The Marlins are 0-7 this season when Cabrera doesn’t have a hit.
Florida (6-14) has lost eight of 11, with only two of those defeats coming by more than two runs.
“One thing you haven’t seen from us—we’re not quitting,” Florida starter Brian Moehler said. “We’re hanging in there and battling back.”
Jason Vargas (1-1, 5.06) starts for the Marlins, coming off his best outing of the season. He held the Chicago Cubs to one hit in 6 1-3 scoreless innings on Monday, but Florida’s bullpen gave up six runs in the eighth en route to a 6-3 defeat.
The 23-year-old left-hander had given up 13 runs in his first 15 innings of the season.