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Rockies sweep Phillies to take a one-game lead in the NL West

Drew Creasman Avatar
September 27, 2018

DENVER – For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been hearing every day about how the Colorado Rockies are a “half-game” ahead or behind in the division or Wild Card race. For a minute there, they were 2.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lead in the National League West with just ten games to play.

Then they threw out six consecutive victories and watched the Dodgers stumble to take another “half-game” lead in the division.

On Thursday, they played that “half” a game; the extra contest on the schedule that, if won, put them squarely in the divisional driver’s seat.

After winning the first three games of the set in blowout fashion, the finale was a nail-biter.

But the Rockies got just enough offense and were able to piece together just enough pitching to finish off a sweep of the Phils with a 5-3 win and take a full game lead on the Dodgers in the National League West.

To start this important game, the Rockies turned to 23-year-old Antonio Senzatela who arguably pitched the best game of his career in his last outing against the Diamondbacks. He wasn’t nearly as dominant this time out but gave a workmanlike performance in 4.2 innings, giving up some traffic but working around it to allow just one run.

Colorado got on the board in the first when David Dahl wasted no time extending his streak out to four consecutive games with a solo home run deep over the wall in center field, landing 434 feet away from home plate.

An inning later, Trevor Story doubled the lead with a solo blast of his own to center, the projected distance for the “Concourse Kid” was a whopping 471 feet.

They added another run when Carlos Gonzalez followed Story’s home run by ripping one into the opposite field gap for a double. In a moment where the visitors appeared to lose complete focus, Gonzalez was able to score on a passed ball and a wild pitch.

The Phillies got one back in the top of the third on a solo home run off the bat of Jose Bautista.

Senzatela worked around a pair of doubles in the fourth but a one-out single from Rhys Hoskins in the fifth brought his pitch count to 95 and with a pair of runners aboard in a close game, Bud Black went to righty Scott Oberg. Oberg was able to get a swinging strikeout of Carlos Santana to escape the jam.

He stayed on for a clean sixth, striking out two more hitters before giving way to Seunghwan Oh in the seventh. It was a long inning for Oh who needed 21 pitches to work around a Justin Bour single and keep the score where it was.

The Rockies added to that score in the bottom of the seventh. Gerardo Parra came in for a pinch-hit appearance and launched yet another baseball over the wall in center for his sixth home run of the season.

Charlie Blackmon followed that up by pulling a double down the left-field line and he was able to jog home when Dahl tripled over the head of the first baseman to stay incredibly hot. That gave him 11 RBi in the four-game series.

Things got tense when Adam Ottavino came on in the eighth and was a bit wild, plunking Hoskins on the fourth pitch of the at-bat. He then left a slider over the middle of the plate that Santana was able to get underneath and drive the opposite way for his fourth home run of the season.

Wade Davis came on for the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Cesar Hernandez. That once again brought the tying run to the plate in the form of J.P. Crawford who Davis fell behind 3-0 before coming back for the punchout.

He then struck out Roman Quinn and got Hoskins, absolutely a threat to tie it with one swing, to pop out to short, earning his 42nd save of the season; a new Rockies record.

Colorado improves to 89-70 and are a game up in the NL West.

Final Stats:

Antonio Senzatela: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Scott Oberg: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Seunghwan Oh: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Adam Ottavino: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

 

David Dahl: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI (HR: 14)

Trevor Story: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI (HR: 35)

Carlos Gonzalez: 1-for-4, 1 R

What’s Next:

The Rockies will face off in a three-game set in the final regular-season series of 2018 against the Washington Nationals. Kyle Freeland is set to face off against Joe Ross in Friday’s opener. First pitch at 6:10 Mountain Time.

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