The Colorado Rockies are beat up and heading on the road, which is never a good combination for them. It doesn't help that they're slated to face the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the two clear favorites in their division and two destinations where they've struggled historically. But they didn't look like a team that's down and out or over matched on Friday. Instead, they stunned the Giants with a five-run ninth rally to pull off an important 7-4 victory to kick off the trip.
The names of the heroes may not be familiar, but the results were undeniable. After stars Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau set the table, pinch-hitter Ryan Wheeler tied the game with a two-run single. D.J. LeMahieu followed with a go-ahead RBI single. And then Michael McKenry added a single of his own to make it 6-4. The Rockies tacked on one more after McKenry was picked off but extended the rundown long enough to let LeMahieu score from third.
It's the type of finish Rockies fans will tell you has happened time and time again to them in San Francisco, but the script was flipped on this night.
Of course, it can't all be good news for Colorado. Starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa exited after only three innings with back soreness. Troy Tulowitzki was also forced to leave after his ninth inning single with a sprained toe on his right foot. X-rays after the game were negative, but he's almost assuredly going to miss a game or two as a result.
NO SUPPORT FOR THE KING: Felix Hernandez may feel like the loneliest man on earth right now. Seattle's ace was dominant once again on Friday night, allowing only one run over eight and one-third innings against the Texas Rangers, but it wasn't enough as the Mariners fell 1-0.
It actually took Texas until the ninth to finally solve Hernandez and it took an exceptional one-man effort from Elvis Andrus to make it happen. Andrus singled with one out, quickly stole two bases and then scored on Adrian Beltre's grounder to scratch across the only run in the entire game and ultimately tag Hernandez with his second loss of the season.
Hernandez deserved a better fate. In fact, that makes two straight outings in which Hernandez was brilliant and his offense couldn't muster him a single run. The King had a career-best 15 strikeout performance in his last outing against Tampa Bay, but the Mariner's offense only exploded for five runs after he was finally pulled. They did at least achieve a team win, which knowing Hernandez is all that matters at the end of the day.
BRAVES GET FIRST INTERLEAGUE WIN: A gutsy decision by manager Fredi Gonzalez and one good swing from Evan Gattis helped the Atlanta Braves earn their first interleague victory in seven games this season. With two runners on board in the first, Gonzalez gave Gattis the green light to swing 3-0 against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, and Gattis rewarded his faith with a three-run homer.
The decision? Not a tough one, according to Gonzalez.
''The way he's swinging the bat, why not?''
Chris Johnson would immediately follow with a solo homer of his own, which wrapped up Atlanta's scoring for the evening. From there, it was on Braves pitching to make it hold up. Starter Aaron Harang was up to the task, holding the Angels to one run on four hits over six innings. The Angels would strike for two against reliever Shea Simmons in the eighth, but closer Craig Kimbrel shut things down in the ninth to secure the Braves 4-3 win.
LYNN TOPS ZIMMERMANN IN FANTASTIC PITCHING DUEL:
Lance Lynn silenced the red-hot Washington Nationals on Friday night, throwing eight innings of two-hit ball in the Cardinals league high fourth 1-0 victory this season. Lynn retired the first 16 batters he faced, struck out eight and didn't issue a walk against Washington, who entered play winners in 10 of their last 13.St. Louis Cardinas right-hander
Needless to say, Lynn was great, and that's exactly what he needed to be, because Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann nearly matched him pitch-for-pitch. Zimmermann, coming off a two-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres in his last start, went the distance again and allowed only three hits. The only blemish came on Matt Adams solo homer in the second. From the third inning on, he faced the minimum.
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