NEW YORK -- The Rockies showed once again how tough they are on the mound. Left-hander Kyle Freeland pitched seven solid innings and helped Colorado edge the Mets, 3-2, on Sunday and sweep the three-game series. The Rockies are now on a five-game winning streak and improved their record to
NEW YORK -- The Rockies showed once again how tough they are on the mound. Left-hander Kyle Freeland pitched seven solid innings and helped Colorado edge the Mets, 3-2, on Sunday and sweep the three-game series. The Rockies are now on a five-game winning streak and improved their record to 20-15.
The score was tied at 2 in the top of the eighth inning, when Ian Desmond hit the ball over the right-center-field fence for his second solo homer of the day to give Colorado the one-run lead.
Desmond showed his emotions as he ran the bases. After getting off to a slow start (.177 entering Sunday), he is showing signs of being the clutch player he was with the Nationals and the Rangers.
"Ian hit it to the park where there aren't many home runs hit there right-handed," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "That ball was hit very well. That was big."
Freeland would end up with his second win of the season. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out eight batters. Relievers Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee and Adam Ottavino blanked New York the rest of the way, with Ottavino picking up his first save of the season.
It looked like Freeland was going to have an early exit. He didn't have a good bullpen session and then was down, 2-0, after one inning. Asdrubal Cabrera highlighted the scoring with an RBI single. In between innings, Freeland and catcher Tony Wolters tried to figure out how Freeland could get back on track. His fastball command just wasn't there.
"The Mets were jumping early on pitches," Freeland said. "After the first inning, me and Tony got back together and talked. We got on the same page on what we were going to do. There were a few sequences we didn't agree on in the first inning. I was shaking him. … We communicated well the rest of the game."
Freeland then allowed just one hit and one walk after the first inning.
"Freeland -- two runs in the first and throws six after that. That's as good as it gets," said Ottavino. "Mental toughness, adjustments -- everything you want to see. So I'm super proud of that."
Rockies starting pitching has combined for a 1.71 ERA (13 earned runs in 68 1/3 innings) in their past 11 games, including 10 quality starts.
"We are seeing growth in Kyle. We are seeing growth in a lot of our pitchers. It's great to see," Black said. "You look at the stretch of games, and every starter has pitched to a level of quality. The type of games we have been in -- some low-scoring games -- we had to make some pitches to keep it right there. I talk about it all the time: For us to contend, the starting pitching has to be there, and it's been there the last couple of weeks."
The Rockies tied the score by the third inning off right-hander Noah Syndergaard. Desmond made it a one-run game by belting his fifth homer of the season, his first in 55 at-bats.
"That homer off Syndergaard gave us some life," Black said.
The next inning, Syndergaard couldn't find the plate. With the bases load, he walked Gerardo Parra, scoring Charlie Blackmon.
The Rockies lead the National League with 46 home runs, and 33 of them have come on the road.
HE SAID IT
"A few years ago, I made a commitment that I was going to be married to my swing. During the offseason and Spring Training, I cheated on my swing. You stray, you pay. She has made me pay for about a month and change. We are in counseling. Hopefully, we are getting back on good terms." -- Desmond, on his hitting slump
The Rockies have an off-day Monday, but they return to Coors Field to play a two-game series against the Angels starting Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Jon Gray will take the mound for Colorado. In his last start against the Cubs, Gray pitched a season-high seven innings and allowed one run. Left-hander Andrew Heaney will be on the hill for Los Angeles. He had his best start of the season last week, allowing one run in six innings against the Orioles.
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and does a podcast, Newsmakers. He also could be found on Twitter @ladsonbill24.