Bullpen delivering in first homestand
DENVER -- Colorado's bullpen had a rocky start to the season, as it was forced to work overtime on the road in Miami, but the relievers found their form during the opening weekend homestand at Coors Field, pitching 6 2/3 innings on Friday and Saturday and allowing only one run as the Rockies beat Arizona, 12-2 and 9-4, respectively.
"We got a great performance from the bullpen," manager Walt Weiss said of Saturday's effort in which the 'pen came in with a four-run deficit and shut down the D-backs while Colorado posted nine unanswered runs. "Tommy Kahnle was absolutely huge. [Adam] Ottavino having to go through the meat of that order in the seventh was really big, and Rex [Brothers] doing his thing in the eighth."
Kahnle picked up his first win, throwing 1 2/3 innings for the second time in two big league appearances. Closer LaTroy Hawkins made his second appearance of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth.
Ottavino struck out the side and has tallied eight strikeouts in three innings of work this season. After a ground-rule double over the center-field fence from A.J. Pollock, Ottavino struck out Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado, catching Goldschmidt looking.
"I had been throwing him fastballs in the middle of the count to get to two strikes," Ottavino explained. "I think he didn't want to be behind on that. I knew I was going to throw it for a strike and see what he'd do. And he didn't swing.
"I know I'm going to throw a lot of breaking balls, but I got to keep him honest with a fastball inside. I was able to do that today."
The Rockies are currently carrying seven relievers, and should expand to eight when Boone Logan comes off the disabled list. Logan made back-to-back starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs Thursday and Friday and is expected to be activated Monday with one of the Rockies' six outfielders likely headed to Colorado Springs to get at-bats.