ROCKIES

Rockies take series from MLB-leading Phillies

May 26, 2024, 4:07 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm

Rockies pitcher Cal Quantrill...

(Photo by Alysa Rubin/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alysa Rubin/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies have won just two of seven home series this year. One series win came over the defending World Series winners. The other came this weekend at the expense of a team with the best record in Major League Baseball.

And if not for a ninth-inning meltdown Saturday night, the Rockies would have sent the Philadelphia Phillies out of town with a humbling sweep.

Colorado dispatched the Phillies 5-2 on Sunday, not only claiming the series, but dealing Phillies starter Ranger Suárez his first defeat after a 9-0 start.

All of the Rockies’ damage came in the first two innings. Third baseman Ryan McMahon put Colorado in front to stay in the bottom of the first, depositing a 90-mph Suárez sinker into the Colorado bullpen, scoring Brendan Rodgers from first base.

One inning later, the Rockies worked counts, sent eight men to the plate and capitalized off Suárez’s most-erratic start to date. He walked four batters in the bottom of the second inning alone — twice as many walks as he had in any of his first 10 starts this season.

Suárez threw 35 pitches in the second inning alone. Colorado got three runs from 4 walks and a hit, with a throwing error from Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm assisting their efforts.

“We were aided by the walks, for sure … which is uncharacteristic of [Suárez], Rockies manager Bud Black said. “That was probably the key to a 3-run [inning].”

From there, Cal Quantrill took over. He delivered his fifth-straight quality start, going 6 innings, scattering 3 hits and 2 walks to improve to 4-3. Overall, this was the sixth-consecutive quality start for the Rockies’ rotation, the longest such streak since an 8-game run midway through the 2021 campaign.

“Good starting pitching is the lifeblood, the backbone, the heart and soul of an organization hat consistently wins. We’re trying to get there,” Black said.

“This group here pitched really well, and they’re the reason why a lot of these games have been close.”

AND THIS TIME, THE ROCKIES BULLPEN CAME THROUGH

In the last four games, the bullpen has hit the extremes: calamitous in fall-from-ahead losses on Thursday and Saturday, sturdy and lockdown Friday and Sunday.

“We’ve talked about the bullpen being a little Jekyll-and-Hyde,” Black said. “I don’t know what they were today … who’s the good one?”

Dr. Jekyll, Black was informed.

“They were the doctor today. Hopefully the doctor has a house call [Monday] afternoon.”

Matt Carasiti relieved Quantrill in the seventh inning. He hurled just two balls in 17 pitches, and was a bad hop of a Brandon Marsh ground ball against first base away from a clean inning.

Nick Mears handled the eighth, allowing only an infield single to J.T. Realmuto. With the wave rippling around Coors Field, Mears got Bryce Harper up on an 82-mph curveball, ending the threat.

Tyler Kinley needed just nine pitches to dispatch the Phillies for the ninth-inning save. It was his second-straight spotless appearance after giving up 2 runs in the eighth inning at Oakland Thursday.

Colorado’s win came in front of 47,442 onlookers, giving the Rockies their first Coors Field sellout since the home opener. The Rockies announced an attendance of nearly 120,000 for the three-game series between the NL’s best and worst teams so far this season — 119,984 for the three games, to be exact.

Colorado remains rooted at the NL West cellar with an 18-35 mark, but the team is a respectable 10-7 since hitting its low-water mark after an 8-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants on May 8.

The Rockies are 6-1 in their last seven home games. They to extend that run of form for a three-game series against the Cleveland Guardians that begins Monday afternoon.

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