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Lucroy, CarGo at-bats ignite pivotal inning

MLB.com

DENVER -- Scoring has been an issue for the Rockies over the last few weeks, but they came through late in Tuesday's 7-3 win over the Tigers.

The Rockies had scored three or fewer runs in 14 of their previous 23 games entering Tuesday's game at Coors Field. Manager Bud Black's much-maligned offense succeeded at getting runners on base, he said repeatedly over the last two days, but failed to drive home those runners.

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DENVER -- Scoring has been an issue for the Rockies over the last few weeks, but they came through late in Tuesday's 7-3 win over the Tigers.

The Rockies had scored three or fewer runs in 14 of their previous 23 games entering Tuesday's game at Coors Field. Manager Bud Black's much-maligned offense succeeded at getting runners on base, he said repeatedly over the last two days, but failed to drive home those runners.

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Could the funk be over? Jonathan Lucroy's 11-pitch, seventh-inning at-bat which resulted in a single -- and what followed thereafter -- certainly was a step in the right direction.

Tigers starter Michael Fulmer forced Lucroy into an 0-2 count, where Lucroy said he choked up. After Fulmer's next pitch missed high, Lucroy fouled off five-straight offerings to extend the at-bat. Four of the five were borderline outside-corner strikes, but Lucroy didn't want to take any chances.

"[Fulmer's] trying to expand, trying to get me to chase, with either fastballs up or something soft in the dirt," Lucroy said. "He's trying to strike me out or make me have weak contact, so at that point I'm just trying to see the ball deep and swing at strikes, really."

Video: DET@COL: Lucroy singles after 11-pitch at-bat

Another little thing? Going first-to-third on Trevor Story's subsequent single. The Rockies have been challenging Tigers right fielder Alex Presley's arm all series.

Lucroy said he knows Presley from their time in Milwaukee. That made it easier for Carlos Gonzalez, who put the Rockies on top 4-3 with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly.

"I was watching the way he was pitching the whole night, so I knew he was mixing his pitches really well," Gonzalez said. "I worked the count to 2-2 and fouled off a really good pitch, 97 [mph], and that was the perfect time to throw me a breaking ball. He threw me a splitter.

"I was waiting the whole at-bat for something like that, so I was glad I didn't miss it."

Nolan Arenado followed by delivering the exclamation point with his 30th home run of the season, a three-run shot.

"We don't stress, as much as it feels like we should be stressing, we don't," Arenado said. "We're very calm and we understand that this is baseball and it's not easy. But we like who we are and we like who we have here. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it. We've got to be better."

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, Carlos Gonzalez, Jonathan Lucroy