The first two games of this series against the Rockies were good old fashion pitching duels at Minute Maid Park. With the next two games taking place at Coors field, high scoring games seemed like a foregone conclusion. However, this game picked up where the first two left off, and the Astros once again found themselves locked in a pitching duel (at least early on anyways) with the Rockies, which is no small feat with their high octane offense.
Like Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles did in the first two games against the Rockies, Erik Bedard bent but did not break. He scattered seven hits over six innings, allowing only two earned runs while walking three and striking out four. His ERA now sits at 5.32, which is pretty impressive when you consider how high it was when he was first removed from the rotation.
Bedard's nemisis tonight was Troy Tulowitzki who hit a solo home run off of Bedard in the fourth inning, and followed that up with an RBI double in the fifth. Other than Tulo, Bedard was able to keep the Rockies off the board. He ended the night throwing 96 pitches,57 for strikes.
Paul Clemens followed Bedard and threw a successful 1.2 innings. He only allowed two baserunners, one by walk, and one by an infield hit. He also struck out a Wilin Rosario in the bottom of the seventh.
Unfortunately, Travis Blackley did not fare as well and walked the only two batters he faced to put two on with two out in the eigth.
Porter then called on right Hector Ambriz to end the scare, and he was able to do just that in a scary fashion, with a line out to first baseman Carlos Pena to end the inning.
Closer Jose Veras was then called on to pitch the ninth in a non save opportunity. Veras was also unable to find an answer for Tolowitzki as he homered off of him in the ninth. Other than Tulo, Veras was able to retire the Rockies and closed out a 6-3 victory for the Astros.
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood was also able to hold the Astros in check for most of the night. The Astros struck first in the second when J.D. Martinez got things started with a lead off single to left. With one out he was able to advance to third on a Chris Carter double to right. He was then brought home on a sac fly off of the bat of Matt Dominguez to give the Astros an early 1-0 lead.
The Rockies jumped ahead in the fifth 2-1, but the Astros were able to even it up in the top of the sixth. Brandon Barnes got things started this time with a lead off infield single, and then advanced to third on an Jose Altuve single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Jason Castro followed with a sac fly to left that scored Barnes to tie the game. Jose Altuve then made the second out of the inning on an attempted steal of home, which effectively ended the Astros rally that inning.
The Astros played add-on in the top of the ninth when Carlos Pena greeted new pitcher Rob Scahill with a home run to bring the score to 4-2. Trevor Crowe followed with a single, and one out later pinch hitter Jimmy Paredes followed with a single to put runners at the corners with one out. Marwin Gonzalez was then able to perfectly execute the safety squeeze to score Crowe from third and bring the score to 5-2, but the Astros weren't quite done yet. Brandon Barnes was able to score Paredes on a single to center to give the Astros a four run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, which was plenty for closer Jose Veras, even after the Tulowitzki home run.
It was a nice win against the Rockies in Coors tonight, and depending on how you look at this series, put the Astros in a position to sweep the two-game set in Colorado tomorrow behind Lucas Harrell.