Game 1: Rockies 2, Angels 10- The first game of the series is one that Rockies’ fans will want to forget about quickly, as the Rox were steamrolled by the Angels’ dangerous offense.
Balls seemed to be exploding off the bats for Los Angeles, something that was made abundantly clear when the Angels’ Albert Pujols launched his 26th home run of the year in the first inning to open up the scoring. The three run bomb was the beginning of a very long day for Rockies’ starter Chad Bettis.
Bettis, who had gone at least five innings in his first ten starts, allowed a season high four earned runs in his first start of the season on May 14, vs the Dodgers. But the Angels roughed him up for his worst start of the season in game one. Bettis lasted only 2⅓ innings, allowing ten earned runs on eight hits. He walked one and punched out two while surrendering four home runs.
In the third inning, the Rockies got on the board thanks to a solo home run from left fielder Drew Stubbs. Stubbs, who was recalled from AAA Albuquerque on the third of the month, seemed to look better at the plate after spending some time working on his swing since his demotion to the minors on May 20.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki added the Rockies’ final run in the sixth inning, when he singled home outfielder Charlie Blackmon.
After Bettis exited, the bullpen came in and performed well. Reliever Johan Flande succeeded Bettis in the third and ended up going 5⅔ innings. He allowed no runs and gave up only two hits. Flande struck out three and walked one in his appearance.
Christian Friedrich came in and relieved Flande, pitching a scoreless ninth, but the Rockies were unable to come close to the deficit they faced, and fell quietly in the blowout that was game one.
Game 2: Rockies 2, Angels 3- The Rox hung around in the second game, but couldn’t capture a victory as the Angels got to closer John Axford to score the winning run in the top of the ninth.
The Halos got on the board early, scoring a lone run in the first courtesy of Mike Trout’s 23rd homer of the year off Rockies’ starter Chris Rusin. But Colorado took the lead after a two-run fourth inning, thanks to RBI singles by first baseman Ben Paulsen and catcher Nick Hundley, which scored CarGo and Nolan Arenado, respectively.
The Angels tied things up in the sixth when Mike Trout hit his second long ball of the day, again a solo shot off of Rusin.
But Rusin didn’t have a bad day. The two homers by Trout were the only blemishes in his quality start. He ended up going six innings, walking two and striking out two while earning a No Decision.
Axford gave up three hits and a walk in his appearance and took the loss, as the Rockies were swept at home by the Angels.
The Rockies host the Atlanta Braves tonight at Coors Field, a four game series and their final matchup before the All Star Game. Kyle Kendrick takes the mound for Colorado and first pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm MST.
Don’t forget to continue voting for Troy Tulowitzki! Tulo could make the 2015 MLB All Star Game in Cincinnati with your help. Voting ends Friday at 4pm ET.
Contact CU Independent Rockies Beat Writer Justin Guerriero at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo