© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
DENVER – It was a strange afternoon for Rockies starter German Marquez who surrendered seven hits and three runs in the first three innings. He was getting hit hard and often but also still piling up the swings and misses.
He pitched only the 86th immaculate inning in MLB history, striking out three batters on nine pitches in the fourth. It was the second in Rockies franchise history, the only other came courtesy of Rex Brothers on June 14, 2014 in San Francisco.
What looked early to be a short afternoon for Marquez turned into a quality start in which he tied his career high in strikeouts with 10.
Ultimately, he and the Rockies pitching staff were barely outdueled by Chris Archer and the Pittsburgh Pirates who edged out a 4-3 win.
The Pirates didn’t waste any time picking up where they left off in the second game, finding the green with solid line drives against Marquez beginning with a one-single from Starling Marte. Gregory Polanco followed by smashing a double off the wall in deep left center, scoring the first run of the game.
Marquez then committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, allowing Polanco to reach third. He struck out the next batter but surrendered a two-out single to Colin Moran, plating another run.
They added one in the third on a single through the shift from Moran and a double to right by Adam Frazier. The run came in on a groundout to second off the bat of Josh Bell.
Somehow, after being so hittable, Marquez bounced back to strike out the side on nine pitches in the top of the fourth.
The Rockies had recorded only one hit against Archer going into the fourth, and that came from Marquez. But DJ LeMahieu opened the frame with a hard single back up the middle. He was able to jog around the bases when David Dahl won a battle with Archer, eventually launching a long home run over the high wall in right center, bringing some life into the park, getting the Rockies on the board and pulling them to within one.
After Nolan Arenado flew out, Story lined a double down the right-field line and Parra walked but Ryan McMahon struck out and Tony Wolters was robbed of extra-bases—potentially giving the Rockies the lead—on a nice play at first by Bell.
It looked like the Pirates were going to get one back after a leadoff walk from Francisco Cervelli and a one-out double from Frazier. But a pair of perfect throws from Gerardo Parra and Trevor Story combined to nail Cervelli at the plate.
Colorado threatened again in the sixth with a two-out double from McMahon and a Wolters walk that brought pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez to the plate. But CarGo struck out and the brief rally ended.
Charlie Blackmon led off the seventh with a base hit back up the middle, giving him two consecutive multi-hit days after getting a rest on Monday. But he was thrown out trying to steal second after a long look at the tape proved to be inconclusive and the call on the field stood. LeMahieu and Dahl struck out.
The Pirates picked up an insurance run in the top of the eighth after Adam Ottavino issued a leadoff walk to Bell and Arenado committed a remarkably rare error on a ball that might otherwise have been turned into a double play. Josh Harrison then reached on a perfectly placed bunt to load the bases with nobody out.
Corey Dickerson hit a deep drive to left that went for a sac fly but Otto was able to limit the damage to just that one run.
The Rockies got the leadoff runner aboard again in the eighth but in scary fashion. After getting ahead in the count 1-2, reliever Kyle Crick completely lost one up and in just barely making contact with the top of Arenado’s helmet. Story followed with a single to deep right center that Marte cut off nicely to keep him from getting extra bases and make sure Arenado had to stop at third.
Parra popped out to shallow center, not deep enough to plate the run but McMahon came up with a line drive to center that scored Arenado and moved Story, the tying run to third. Ian Desmond came on to pinch-hit for Wolters and hit a 1-1 pitch in the air to right but it sliced out of play. He struck out on the next pitch.
That left it up to Chris Iannetta to come through with two outs, batting in the pitcher’s spot. Iannetta hit one hard that seemed destined for right field but a ridiculous diving stop from Frazier at second kept the Pirates on top by a run.
The Rockies went down in order in the ninth, concluding a frustrating afternoon for the home team.
German Marquez: 6 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
Seunghwan Oh: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB
Adam Ottavino: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB
David Dahl: 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB (HR: 5)
DJ LeMahieu: 1-for-3, 1 R
The Colorado Rockies now prepare for a huge four-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Tyler Anderson will face off against Ross Stripling in the first game. First pitch at 6:40 Thursday evening.