Rockies 2, Indians 1
DENVER (AP)—Coors Field is not known for low-scoring games. A little rain and some good pitching took care of that, at least for one night.
The only games with fewer runs were on June 16, 1995, when Atlanta beat the Rockies 2-0, and on Aug. 9 last year, when the Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs by the same score.
It was the ninth three-run game since Coors Field opened in 1995.
“That’s what pitchers do when they hit their spots,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “Good pitching beats good hitting every day of the week and the pitching was pretty efficient out there.”
Preston Wilson homered for the second straight game and had an RBI single for Colorado, which played through two rain delays lasting more than two hours to push its home win streak to seven games.
The Rockies are a league-worst 7-22 on the road, but are the best in the majors at home at 23-8.
The Indians got a solid start out of rookie reliever Billy Traber (2-3) but couldn’t generate much offense after getting four hits in the first inning.
Cleveland had just three hits the rest of the way in losing its second straight to Colorado following a five-game winning streak.
“The weather made it a long night,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
Steady rain started falling in the third inning, but the umpires kept the game going in an attempt to reach the minimum five innings.
Puddles started to form along the lines in the top of the fifth inning and plate umpire Jim Reynolds ran a ball out to Cleveland pitcher Jake Westbrook instead of throwing it to him in the bottom half.
The crowd dwindled to a few hundred after a delay of 1 hour, 4 minutes, but those that left didn’t miss much.
The Indians managed just three runners in the final four innings, while the Rockies had two hits.
“It’s hard when the ball is wet and it just gets away from you a bit,” Oliver said. “You just try to get them to put the ball in play and get the guys back in the dugout because they definitely do not want to be out there in that rain.”
Rain also delayed the game’s start by 1:04, but the Indians didn’t take long to warm up on a chilly night.
Jody Gerut hit Oliver’s second pitch off the wall in right for a double, then scored on a double-play ball by Ellis Burks after John McDonald singled. Cleveland got two more hits in the inning, but Oliver ended the threat by striking out Casey Blake.
Oliver (3-4) settled in after that, allowing one hit over the next four innings to improve to 3-0 at Coors Field this season. He allowed one run in five innings before being replaced by Todd Jones after the second rain delay.
“Sometimes you get in trouble, but you have to go in there and keep battling and try not to walk guys,” said Oliver, who has won two of his past three outings after starting the season 1-3. “They were hitting the ball, but I was making them put it in play and I settled down a little bit.”
Jose Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth straight save, his 13th in 14 chances.
Colorado had three hits in the first inning, but scored just one run on Wilson’s run-scoring single.
Wilson made it 2-1 in the third, hitting Traber’s first pitch out to right-center for his 14th homer this year—the first off Traber in 29 1-3 innings this season. Wilson finished 3-for-4 and is 8-for-14 the past four games.
Traber, in the rotation because of Jason Bere’s shoulder injury last week, was lifted before the start of the fifth inning after reaching manager Eric Wedge’s limit of 70 pitches.
“I threw too many pitches early,” said Traber, who allowed two runs andfive hits in his second career start. “I was my own worst enemy.”
The Indians traded INF Bill Selby to St. Louis for minor league C Clint Chauncey before the game. … Oliver is 6-1 against the Indians. … Traber’s only other career start was April 24, a 4-2 loss to Seattle. … Cleveland SS Omar Vizquel, 0-for-10 in his career against Oliver, did not start. He fliedout as a pinch hitter in the eighth.