The Rockies pounded the Texas Rangers 12-1 Wednesday to sweep the
two-game National League portion of the interleague series that
shifts to Arlington, Texas, for two games beginning Wednesday,
Colorado (21-14) completed a 5-1 homestand that improved its home
record to 13-5. The Rockies now face a challenge with 15 of their
next 21 games on the road.
The Rockies matched their season high in runs and set a season mark
with 21 hits. They broke the game open with a six-run sixth inning
that put them ahead 10-1.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI to
complete a homestand that defied statistical belief. He went
13-for-19 (.684) in the six games with three doubles, two homers,
eight RBIs and nine runs. Tulowitzki is hitting astounding .608
(31-for-51) at Coors Field.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 26 games
with a run-scoring double that hit the foul line in left field with
two outs in the seventh and the Rockies leading by 11 runs. Arenado
is one game shy of matching the franchise-record, 27-game streak
that Michael Cuddyer enjoyed last season.
"I thought it was going to be fair," Arenado said. "Then it hit the
white chalk. ... It was a crazy feeling. We're up 12-1, so now I'm
really thinking about the hit streak. Hey, we're up 12-1, and it
creeps into your head, you don't have a hit."
The Rockies are averaging 7.56 runs per game at home, and hard as it
is to believe, their offense is getting a lift. Left fielder Carlos
Gonzalez, who is coming out of a long slump, tied his career high
with a five-hit games, going 5-for-5 with a double and three RBIs.
"I always expected to go off like that," said Gonzalez, who went
7-for-54 (.130) from April 12-27 but is now on a 13-for-35 (.371)
ascent. "I know that my talent will overcome, and at some point,
things are going to go back to normal. That's what Tulo has been
doing, and Nolan. I know my swing is going to get back on track and
be right there with them."
Rockies starter Juan Nicasio (4-1) pitched five innings of one-run
ball, surrendering a first-inning homer to Rangers third baseman
Adrian Beltre but only one other hit. He walked five and was lifted
after the fifth with Colorado leading 4-1.
The margin grew to an insurmountable level in the sixth, when
Rangers starter Robbie Ross Jr. was knocked out of the game. In the
inning, he allowed six runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings -- six of
the hits and four of the runs coming in the sixth.
"His velocity was there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I
thought he had a sharp slider. He was just a victim of some good
fate for them."
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In the two victories, the Rockies outscored the Rangers 20-3 and
outhit them 34-17. Colorado went 16-for-32 with runners in scoring
position in the two games, while the Rangers went 1-for-11.
"We couldn't string anything together," Washington said. "When we
did threaten, we just couldn't get that one hit to maybe keep things
going. We just got to get home and get back on track."
Ross became the seventh Rangers starter in the past eight games not
to pitch six innings. The Texas bullpen is so taxed that Washington
called on first baseman Mitch Moreland to pitch the eighth. A closer
at Mississippi State, Moreland hit 94 mph on the radar gun while
retiring the side in order on 15 pitches, 10 strikes. He said he
felt fine and there was no need to ice his arm after the outing.
"It's been 2008 since I pitched last," Moreland said. "And the way
it's going, I think I'll have time to recover."
NOTES: 3B Adrian Beltre's homer was his 99th as a Ranger. He is on
the verge of becoming the fifth in major league history to hit 100
or more homers with three different teams, joining Darrell Evans,
Reggie Jackson, Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome. ...Rockies manager
Walt Weiss challenged a call that initially resulted in Rangers LHP
Robbie Ross Jr.'s first major league hit on a ground ball to 2B
Charlie Culberson, who hesitated before throwing. However, the call
was reversed after a 1-minute, 35-second review. ... Rangers CF
Leonys Martin batted second for the first time this season. He went
0-for-2 with a walk. ... Rangers LHP Joe Saunders (stress fracture
in left ankle) threw 66 pitches in four innings during his first
rehab start for Double-A Frisco. He allowed four hits, including two
homers, three runs (two earned) and one walk. Saunders struck out
four. ... Rangers 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff had surgery to repair a
herniated disk in his lower back. The operation was performed in Los
Angeles, where Kouzmanoff will stay until the end of the week. ...
RF Charlie Blackmon hit his second career leadoff homer and the
first for the Rockies this season.
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