DENVER (AP)—With the type of season Montreal has had so far, it would have been easy to give up after two starters went out with injuries.
But the Expos keep plugging along despite the setbacks.
“With everything that’s happened surrounding this team, they don’t let things get them down,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “They don’t let things bother them, they stay focused on the game and they go out there and give the best they possibly can. I respect them an awful lot and admire them because you don’t hear them complaining about anything around here.”
Johnson was injured in the third inning when a shot by Royce Clayton took an odd bounce and hit him between his right cheek and jaw. Johnson went down face first to the infield dirt and was kicking his feet up and down as Clayton rounded first for a double.
Johnson lay on the field for about 10 minutes before being rolled over, then was strapped to a stretcher and carted off the field about five minutes later. He never lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital for X-rays.
“I was scared to death,” Batista said. “All I thought was I prayed to God that he would be all right. I didn’t stop praying until I saw him get up.”
Armas, who gave up a solo homer to Todd Helton in the first inning, suffered a bruise and isn’t expected to miss his next start.
But that was it for the Rockies.
“They kept it together tonight,” Robinson said. “There wasn’t a lot talking in the dugout tonight, kind of silent, but they kept focused.”
Brad Wilkerson led off the eighth inning with a double off Fuentes, then barely beat Closser’s throw at third on Endy Chavez’s sacrifice bunt. Wilkerson scored the tying run when Jose Vidro hit into a double play and Batista hit the next pitch out to left for his 21st homer.
But it wasn’t just Fuentes’ fault.
Colorado managed just eight hits and continued to have trouble scoring runs — 15 in the last six games—and lose for the fifth time in six games. The Rockies were swept in a doubleheader by the New York Mets on Thursday.
“Offensively we came up short and we were short out of the bullpen again, it was a combination,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “The game didn’t have a whole lot of flow to it, but you have to play. When you get opportunities to make plays you have to do it.”
Wright was coming off his worst outing since being called up on July 22, allowing six runs in 4 2-3 innings in a loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. It looked like he was in for another tough night the way this one started.
Wilkerson led off the game with a single, Chavez blooped a double just over Helton at first and Batista knocked them both in with a double to the gap in right-center.
But Wright righted himself after that, allowing just two hits over the next five innings before being replaced for a pinch hitter in sixth inning.
“After the second inning, I found a rhythm out there,” Wright said. “I didn’t feel good the first couple of innings. When I went out for the third, I settled down and tried to make them hit the ball.”
The game’s start was delayed an hour because of rain. … The Rockies designated RHP Vladimir Nunez for assignment before the game to make room for rookie Chris Gissell on the 40-man roster. … Friday’s game was the 100th meeting between the teams. Colorado leads the series 56-44. … Batista’s double in the first inning was the 200th of his career. … The game featured eight outs on unassisted plays by first basemen.