Story’s power, Freeland’s arm help Rockies beat Padres 8-0
DENVER — Trevor Story hit the second grand slam of his career, Kyle Freeland scattered three hits over seven sharp innings and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 8-0 on a cold Tuesday night.
Colorado outfielder Noel Cuevas notched his first major league hit — a single down the line that looked like a sure double before he slipped on the first base bag. That’s about the only stumble for the Rockies in a game delayed 46 minutes by rain on a 37-degree evening. In an effort to stay warm, Nolan Arenado and Manuel Margot resorted to wearing a ski mask in the field.
Freeland (1-3) turned up the heat as the lefty struck out a season-high eight to earn his first win since July 30. He tied for the major league lead in victories (11) among rookies last season.
There was a moment of concern when Freeland took a liner off his left heel in the fourth. He took a few warmup pitches and remained in the game.
San Diego lefty Eric Lauer (0-1) had a rough outing in his major league debut. He allowed seven runs, six earned, over three innings. He picked up his first big league hit on a bloop single.
Lauer became just the second pitcher from the 2016 draft class to make his major league debut. The other was teammate Joey Lucchesi, who made his first start on March 30, 2017.
In addition, Lauer was the 27th pitcher to make his inaugural big league start at Coors Field, including seventh as an opponent and second for the Padres (Anthony Bass on June 13, 2011).
The 22-year-old Lauer made a mistake in the second with a fastball that Story took deep to left to give the Rockies a 7-0 lead. Story’s other grand slam was April 21, 2017, against San Francisco.
Padres: 3B Christian Villanueva (hamstring tightness) was given the night off due to the cold conditions. “It just wasn’t in his best interest or our best interest to push him,” manager Andy Green said.
The Rockies scored a touchdown’s equivalent in runs over the first two innings. Fitting since linebacker Von Miller, quarterback Case Keenum and a few other Broncos were on hand for the game.
First baseman Eric Hosmer was placed on family medical leave. The team hopes to have him back in the lineup Friday.
“He had some things he needed to go home and take care of,” Green explained. “Respecting his privacy and his family’s wishes, we’ll just kind of leave it at that right now.”
Rockies right-hander Brooks Pounders had the most memorable name in the minor leagues in 2014. No disputing it, either — he won the “Moniker Madness “ bracket challenge that crowns the best name.
“It’s pretty cool,” Pounders said.
Pounders pitched the ninth in his Rockies debut. His contract was selected from Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday.
The Padres will throw RHP Tyson Ross (2-1, 2.81 ERA) in the series finale Wednesday. His last time out he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning at Arizona. The Rockies counter with RHP Jon Gray (1-4, 6.75), who’s looking to snap a three-game skid.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.