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Senzatela dominates in relief, knocks RBI in win

Righty becomes 1st MLB reliever to win, drive in lone run in 1-0 victory since 1980
Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- The Rockies lost two starters on Friday, but they got outstanding relief work to shut out the Marlins, 1-0, in the series opener at Marlins Park.

Antonio Senzatela came in for starter Tyler Anderson, who left the game in the second inning with lightheadedness, difficulty breathing and what Rockies manager Bud Black described during the game as a heartbeat ailment.

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MIAMI -- The Rockies lost two starters on Friday, but they got outstanding relief work to shut out the Marlins, 1-0, in the series opener at Marlins Park.

Antonio Senzatela came in for starter Tyler Anderson, who left the game in the second inning with lightheadedness, difficulty breathing and what Rockies manager Bud Black described during the game as a heartbeat ailment.

View Full Game Coverage

"The heart issue resolved itself," Black said. "He was checked out by a couple of different doctors over the last couple of hours. He's fine."

Video: COL@MIA: Black on Anderson leaving early, bullpen

Senzatela went 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball, striking out four and walking just one. He also drove in the only run of the game with a fifth-inning double.

"My arm felt good," Senzatela said. "I'm working hard this season to throw a lot of innings."

Video: COL@MIA: Senzatela induces groundout, strands runner

Senzatela went 10-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 36 games (20 starts) for the Rockies last season in his rookie year. It's a role Black said he anticipates a return to.

"That's such a tough role to be put in," Black said of Friday's outing. "I'm really proud of Antonio. This is a role as a relief pitcher he got a little bit accustomed to the second half of last year. But we still see him as a starter moving forward. He helped us win the game today in a big way."

The Rockies were unable to add to the lead, leaving the bases loaded in both the eighth and ninth innings.

Video: COL@MIA: Barraclough K's Blackmon, leaves bases full

But Wade Davis nailed down the win for his 10th save of the season, striking out Miguel Rojas and Lewis Brinson, then walking J.B. Shuck before getting J.T. Realmuto to end the game on a forceout with runners on first and second.

Davis was the last of five relievers employed by Black. Bryan Shaw followed Senzatela, and Jake McGee and Adam Ottavino also made their way to the mound to keep the Marlins off the scoreboard.

Video: COL@MIA: Davis retires Realmuto to earn 10th save

The group combined for nine strikeouts and just five hits allowed.

"That's experience; guys have been there and been through it. They showed tonight why we think we're going to have a good bullpen," Black said. "They know how to work their way through an inning, even when there's a little bit of trouble."

Video: COl@MIA: Ottavino induces groundout to escape jam

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
With Gerardo Parra on second with two outs, the Marlins thought they had a better chance of getting out of a fifth-inning jam by intentionally walking Chris Iannetta and instead pitching to Senzatela.

But Senzatela crossed them up with an RBI double, scoring Parra for the decisive hit. It was Parra's first game back after serving a four-game suspension.

"I just go up swinging," Senzatela said. "They throw something there, maybe I hit it, maybe I don't."

Added DJ LeMahieu: "Honestly, he's a pretty good hitter. I wasn't surprised. We really needed that one, that's for sure."

Video: COL@MIA: Senzatela plates Parra with an RBI double

SOUND SMART
Senzatela's RBI marked the first time in Rockies history that a reliever drove in all of the team's runs, according to AT&T SportsNet and STATS. It is also the first time a Major League reliever got the win and drove in the only run in a 1-0 victory since Joe Niekro did it for the Astros against the Cubs on Aug. 23, 1980.

Tweet from @Rockies: The win & the game-winning RBI. Senzatela did it all tonight! #RoxWin 🖐 pic.twitter.com/7DG32aYzxa

LEMAHIEU EXITS
LeMahieu also left the game in the fourth inning with right hamstring tightness. After legging out a double in the third, he remained in the game but eventually left for defensive replacement Pat Valaika.

Video: COL@MIA: Urena nabs LeMahieu at second, call stands

HE SAID IT
"I came in, warmed up and said, 'OK, here we go.'" -- Senzatela, upon being called out of the bullpen in the second inning to relieve Anderson 

UP NEXT
The Rockies turn to German Marquez to face Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith at 5:10 p.m. MT on Saturday, though Miami may reinstate Wei-Yin Chen from the disabled list to get the nod. Colorado has not won a series at Marlins Park since 2013 but can change that with a win.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.

Colorado Rockies, Antonio Senzatela