Game 1: Rockies 2, Marlins 6- Despite a 12-hit team performance, Colorado starter Eddie Butler was roughed up and the Rox fell to the Marlins in game one. The Marlins chipped away at Butler each inning, scoring two runs in the second, one in the third, and then one in the fifth, with their last two runs coming in the sixth. Butler lasted a mere 5.1 innings, giving up six earned runs on 11 hits, walking two and striking out three while earning the loss. Down 6-0, the Rockies got one back in the sixth courtesy of an RBI single by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who wound up going 3-4 with an RBI in the loss. He later scored in the eighth inning when third baseman Nolan Arenado knocked him in with a sacrifice fly.
Game 2: Rockies 10, Marlins 5- The Rockies’ hitfest and a great start by Chris Rusin led Colorado to a victory in game two of the three game series. The Rox started off hot, plating four in the first inning off Marlins starter David Phelps. Arenado hit a two-run triple that scored outfielder Charlie Blackmon and second baseman DJ LeMahieu. First baseman Wilin Rosario followed with an RBI single to plate Arenado. Catcher Michael McKenry then hit a triple of his own to score Rosario to make the score 4-0. Rosario struck again in the third, hitting a solo shot off of Phelps. But the fourth inning was where the Rox truly put the Marlins away. They scored five runs and chased Phelps from the game after only 3.2 innings of work, during which he allowed nine earned runs. LeMahieu began the scoring in the fourth with an RBI single to score Rusin. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez followed with a three run shot, a line drive to right center field. Rosario then smacked his second home run of the game to make the score 10-2. With plenty of run support, Rusin held the lead through his seven innings and handed it over to the Rockies bullpen for the W. Rusin’s line was seven innings pitched, two earned runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts. The Marlins did get five hits and three runs in the ninth off Rockies’ reliever Rafael Betancourt, but their rally was not enough.
Game 3 (ten innings): Rockies 2, Marlins 3- The Rockies mustered only five hits in a narrow extra innings loss to the Marlins. Kyle Kendrick took the mound for the Rox, and right off the bat things got ugly. Kendrick, whose ERA was above six entering Sunday’s game, gave up two runs in the first inning. But he would settle down. He lasted seven innings, with the first inning runs being the only Marlins he allowed to score. In the fourth inning with the bases loaded, Arenado hit a sacrifice fly to score Blackmon and cut the deficit to one. Later, the Rox tied it at 2-2 courtesy of CarGo’s sixth homer of the year. After Kendrick exited, the bullpen held strong, with Scott Oberg and John Axford pitching scoreless frames, respectively. The game then headed into extras, but it was short lived as the Marlins’ Adeiny Hechavarria hit a solo shot off of the Rockies’ Boone Logan. The Rox came up empty in their half of the tenth, as Blackmon, LeMahieu, and Tulo were retired in order to end the game and the series with Miami.
Series Positives: Tulo continues to stay hot. In the last week, he’s been hitting .517 with four homers and 11 RBIs. His season average is now up to .306.
CarGo is steadily getting back to form at the plate as well. After seeing his batting average float around the Mendoza Line (.200) all season, Gonzalez has raised it to .240. The Rockies are eagerly awaiting him to start performing at a level consistent with his last few seasons, excluding his injury-plagued 2014 campaign.
Closer John Axford remains untouchable. His ERA has dropped to a superb 0.53, and has not blown a save yet this season after inheriting the role from the injured Adam Ottavino in late April.
Series Negatives: Starter Eddie Butler is struggling. After his bad start, Butler now is 3-6 with a 4.80 ERA. Control issues continue to plague Butler, as he’s walked 30 and struck out only 29. After seeing management demote starter Tyler Matzek to the minor leagues for similar struggles, Butler could be on thin ice as well. For a team that is close to clawing their way out of the bottom of the NL West, the Rockies can’t afford weak links in the rotation.
The Rockies square off against the St Louis Cardinals tonight at Coors Field in Denver at 6:40pm MST. David Hale will pitch for the Rox.
Contact CU Independent Rockies Beat Writer Justin Guerriero at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo