Rockies 5 Rangers 1
ARLINGTON, July 21 – In the first baseball game at the new Globe Life Field, the Colorado Rockies defeated the Texas Rangers 5-1. The Rockies bats only managed seven hits but three of them were home runs. Colorado’s pitchers scattered six hits en route to the victory in the first of two exhibition games between the two teams.
Rockies Score Early and Cruise To Victory
On the mound for the Rockies was Ashton Goudeau. The 26-year-old rookie is in the mix for the final spot in the Rockies rotation. The Rangers countered with Kyle Gibson. After seven years as a Minnesota Twin, Gibson signed a three-year contract worth 28 million dollars with the Rangers. The Rangers have penciled Gibson in as their fourth starter in their retooled starting rotation.
David Dahl walked on four pitches leading off the game for the Rockies. Gibson was off early in this game and Trevor Story had an eight-pitch at-bat before flying out. In all Gibson threw 22 pitches in the inning but held the Rockies off the board. The Rangers got two men on in the bottom of the inning but Rougned Odor grounded out to end the inning.
Daniel Murphy opened the scoring with a solo home run to right on the first pitch in the top of the second inning. The Rangers were retired quickly in the bottom of the inning. After a scoreless third inning, Nolan Arenado hit a two-run home run to left field in the top of the fourth inning off Gibson as the Rockies opened up a 3-0 lead. Chi Chi Gonzalez now in his second inning of work retired the first two batters before giving up a hit and two walks. But Gonzalez got Isiah Kiner-Falefa to ground out ending the inning with the Rockies leading 3-0.
Gibson Gives Up Three Homers
In the top of the fifth inning, Dahl smacked a two-run home run to right giving the Rockies a 5-0 lead. This was the third home run given up by Gibson who pitched five innings giving up five runs on six hits. Now pitching for the Rockies is Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman is also in the mix for the final spot of the Rockies starting rotation. Hoffman allowed two infield singles sandwiched around a double play in the bottom of the inning as the Rangers failed to score once again.
With Gibson out of the game, the Rangers brought in Jesse Chavez, Nick Goody, Ian Gibaut, and Jonathan Hernandez for one inning each as the Rangers bullpen shut down the Rockies lineup the remainder of the game. Over the next four innings, the Rockies had one hit with two walks and seven strikeouts.
In the bottom of the sixth Hoffman would get into trouble after walking Jose Trevino with two outs. Nick Solak hit a drive to deep right-center field for a double. But Trevino was thrown out at home ending the inning.
Daniel Bard Returns
In the bottom of the seventh inning Daniel Bard took over on the mound for the Rockies. The 35-year-old pitcher has not pitched in the majors since 2013 but has made the Rockies opening day roster. Bard last pitched for the St. Lucie Mets in 2017 and has only 257 major league innings under his belt. Bard who had problems with his control and velocity which led to his retirement now has regained both and is back in the majors. Last year Bard was a mental skills coach and player mentor for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Leody Taveras singled home Kiner-Falefa to cut the Rockies lead to 5-1. Bard pitched only one inning giving up one run on a hit and a walk. The Rockies relievers quietly shut the Rangers down with Philip Diehl retiring the side in order in the ninth.
Rockies rookie Sam Hilliard’s father who has ALS was able to attend the game. Hilliard who is from Mansfield, Texas grew up 10-15 minutes from the old Rangers ballpark where he and his father attended many games. Having his father in attendance to see his son play in the first game at the new Rangers field is very special to the Hilliards. So as you can imagine Hilliard is thankful to both the Rockies and Rangers for setting this up for Hilliard’s parents and his fiancee. Hilliard who has made the opening day roster will have his family attend both the next exhibition game on Wednesday and the season opener on Friday.
Woodward Searches For Answers
Rangers manager Chris Woodward was not happy after the game. “I’m not happy,” We haven’t won a game all spring. Either that or we won them all. I don’t know what to think. It was nice to see our guys compete against another team.” Woodward did have good things to say about reliever Ian Gibaut and outfielder Leody Taveras who both could make the opening day roster.
Woodward on Gibaut: “He has pretty much dominated since he came back. We knew he always had good stuff, that’s why we like him. If he doesn’t make the team, or if he does, there is nothing else he could have done.”
Woodward also had this to say about Taveras. “It’s hard to find any faults in his game right now. He’s been really impressive. The fact that he’s still here tells you a lot. He’s still very, very in the mix. There’s a lot of competition for those spots, but the kid has played his butt off, honestly, in every way. Defensively, offensively, on the bases, he’s impacted pretty much every game he’s played.”
On Wednesday the Rockies and Rangers will once again play another exhibition at Globe Life Field with Antonio Senzatela starting for the Rockies against the Rangers Jordan Lyles. These same two teams will open the season on Friday with the Rockies sending German Marquez to the mound and the Rangers countering with Lance Lynn.
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