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Freeland, Rockies stall after fast start in Bronx

@ladsonbill24
July 19, 2019

NEW YORK -- Two things you can say about the Rockies: They have been inconsistent on offense and on the mound. Let’s start with left-hander Kyle Freeland. He had one bad inning Friday night, and it proved costly as the Rockies were pounded by the Yankees, 8-2, at Yankee Stadium.

NEW YORK -- Two things you can say about the Rockies: They have been inconsistent on offense and on the mound. Let’s start with left-hander Kyle Freeland. He had one bad inning Friday night, and it proved costly as the Rockies were pounded by the Yankees, 8-2, at Yankee Stadium.

Colorado extended its losing streak to five games.

Box score

Freeland got off to a great start. He was given a two-run lead in the second inning, when Ryan McMahon hit a solo homer off J.A. Happ and three batters later Garrett Hampson doubled, scoring Chris Iannetta.

The Rockies didn’t score the rest of the game, going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and leaving eight runners on base.

As for Freeland, he held the Yankees scoreless until the third inning, when Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam. It didn’t help that Freeland walked Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez to load the bases. Freeland lasted four innings and allowed five runs. In his past four starts, Freeland has allowed at least five runs each time out.

“The first two innings the change up was really effective tonight,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “[But] we couldn’t get the ball over the plate. He was trying to bring the pitches down to get the ground ball. He couldn’t get it to his spot. The selectivity of the Yankees was apparent in the third inning.”

The Yankees reminded Freeland of the Dodgers, another powerhouse team, from the NL West.

“They were waiting to see if I would throw up the zone and I didn’t. I was behind in the count,” Freeland said.

Freeland acknowledged that he didn’t work the count in his favor when it came to Judge and Sanchez.

“I was looking to get a ball in the ground, then the grand slam happened,” Freeland said. “The walks hurt me, not being able to get out of that jam with a double play or a popup.”

Reliever Yency Almonte fared no better, allowing three runs in two innings. The biggest hit against Almonte came in the sixth inning, when Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer to break the game open. The Rockies' pitching staff has allowed at least eight runs in six of the past seven games.

“Tonight was a bad night. No doubt about it,” said Black, who was ejected in the ninth inning after an Iannetta strikeout.

“We have to be able to do a better job putting the ball in play,” Black said. “When we go bad, we are in a bad rut at the plate, and a lot of it is strikeout-related.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.