Home News Elias Díaz hits home run in Rockies’ win over Marlins

Elias Díaz hits home run in Rockies’ win over Marlins

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DENVER — Swept in Texas over the weekend after having won 11 of 16 contests, the Rockies jumped back on the May flower bed with a 5-3 victory over the Marlins at Coors Field on Monday night.

In honor of the local Denver Nuggets making the NBA Finals for the first time (those who have been around still fondly remember the ABA Finals), here are five takeaways for each guy on the floor.

Elias Díaz continued what could be a march to an unprecedented Rockies feat — an All-Star Game invite as a catcher

Even though he has been the team’s most consistent performer, Díaz had gone homerless for 47 at-bats before cranking his fourth of the season, a sixth-inning solo shot off Edward Cabrera that gave the Rockies a 3-2 lead. Many of the key hitters have had similar homer droughts; however, Díaz has still done plenty with his bat and his glove.

After Colorado loaded the bases with no outs and didn’t score early in the final two games at Texas — with the game scoreless at that point each time — the tides turned vs. Miami. Díaz delivered the second of consecutive run-scoring doubles in the first. Kris Bryant hit the first.

Díaz also continued his season of dashing rallies with his arm. The Marlins’ Garrett Cooper doubled to lead off the second, but Díaz retrieved a Chase Anderson pitch that had bounced away to his right and threw out Cooper attempting to advance to third. The assist didn’t count toward his caught-stealing numbers — he’s second in the Majors with 10 — but nonetheless he demonstrated the two-way quality he has shown all year.

“There’s an inner calmness to his play from the catching position,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “There were times last year where he wasn’t hitting and he tried to make up for it on defense.

“He’s calm. His at-bats have been really solid all year. You’ve seen the clutch at-bats. You’ve seen the pinch-hit at-bats. The total game is under control.”

Profar kicked off the first inning with the first of his two doubles, enabling the Rockies to get ahead early while extending his on-base streak to 30 games. His seventh-inning double provided insurance runs. While he has been steadily on base, there is more damage lately – a .360/.418/.620 slash line in the past 12 games, and three two-double games since May 9.

“We have a pretty good hitting ballclub, even though we didn’t get the W’s in Texas,” Profar said. “We’re still putting up 10-plus hits and we know we’re a pretty good hitting club.”

Chase Anderson’s 5 2/3 innings were needed after no starter lasted five innings in the three games at Texas

Anderson, who went five scoreless against the Reds in his Colorado debut last week after being claimed from Tampa Bay, allowed two runs and pitched around eight hits and two walks while striking out just one. But, in melding his pitching style over 14 pro seasons with how to pitch at Coors, he forced double-play grounders to end threats in the first and second innings and stayed in control despite base traffic.

Anderson’s starts have been a boon to a rotation that has lost Germán Márquez for the season (Tommy John surgery) and is looking at long-term absences for Antonio Senzatela (right elbow sprain) and Ryan Feltner (fractured skull) while waiting for the return of Noah Davis (elbow inflammation) — and possibly erstwhile reliever Dinelson Lamet (back) — from the injured list.

“Coming here, my goal is to stabilize and give the team a chance to win every time I’m on the mound,” Anderson said. “The young guys come up to me and ask me questions. I’m an open book.”

Righty setup men Jake Bird and Justin Lawrence, who divided last year between Triple-A Albuquerque and the Majors, continue to earn heightened game situations

Bird entered Monday leading MLB relievers in innings pitched, and Monday’s 1 1/3 innings upped that number to 32 1/3. He also struck out two to improve his K total to 31. 

Lawrence gave up a run on two hits by right-handed batters, who had indeed batting .184. But both were pokes just past first base. Lawrence also is one of the National League’s most-used relievers with 26 innings.

The ninth inning has been solid with Johnson of late, who earned his ninth save in as many chances. Johnson, the younger setup men and veteran setup men Daniel Bard, Brent Suter and Brad Hand are key reasons the Rockies are 19-0 when leading after seven innings.

“I like the makeup,” Black said. “I like the clear-thinker. I like his stuff.”

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