ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Kyle Freeland came into Saturday's start against the Rangers as the Rockies' best pitcher of late.And for six innings, he completely shut down the Rangers lineup as he worked with a lead for most of the afternoon.But Freeland couldn't hold on to two runs of support in
ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Kyle Freeland came into Saturday's start against the Rangers as the Rockies' best pitcher of late.
And for six innings, he completely shut down the Rangers lineup as he worked with a lead for most of the afternoon.
But Freeland couldn't hold on to two runs of support in the seventh. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre put the Rangers on top for good in the eighth with a two-run triple to hand the Rockies a 5-2 loss at Globe Life Park.
With runners on the corners and the game tied at 2 in the eighth, Beltre drilled a ball off reliever Harrison Musgrave and over the head of right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who initially seemed to have a play on the ball.
But the ball carried over his head and caromed off the right-field wall, scoring the go-ahead runs in Delino DeShields and Jurickson Profar. Later in the inning, Rougned Odor tacked on another run when he hit a sacrifice fly to score Ryan Rua.
Gonzalez said Beltre's triple looked like a home run right off the bat.
"I tried to do as much as possible, but I mean, there's not much you can do," Gonzalez said. "It hit the top of the wall. I guess we can say we got lucky it didn't go over the fence, but it ended up being a two-run triple."
The Rangers tied the game in the seventh, when Freeland allowed a two-out RBI single to Jose Trevino that dribbled just past Nolan Arenado's reaching glove and into left. It was Trevino's first Major League hit and RBI.
Still, Freeland, who scattered eight hits and struck out three across seven innings, said he thought he was successful in limiting the damage for most of the afternoon.
With no outs in the sixth and runners on first and second for the Rangers, Freeland got Profar to line into a double play to shortstop Trevor Story.
Story stepped onto second base to double off Shin-Soo Choo. Beltre later grounded out to Story to end the inning. The double play helped preserve a 2-0 lead at the time for Freeland.
Freeland also held the Rangers scoreless in the first after throwing 27 pitches in the inning.
"I think I did a pretty good job last year of getting out of jams with minimal damage or no damage at all," Freeland said. "But it's something that you really gotta focus on when you're out there; not letting anything snowball on you. It's definitely something I continue to work on and continue to strive for."
Manager Bud Black said he's also seen Freeland make strides in limiting the damage.
"I think there's a confidence now to utilize a couple different pitches," Black said. "Whether it's the fastball command, whether it's the breaking ball, or the change, he's making pitches. He's keeping the ball down and limiting mistakes, especially with runners on base. We're seeing growth before our eyes."
Entering Saturday, Freeland had been 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA over his past nine outings. His six wins since April 24 were tied for first in the National League.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Rockies failed to add on to their 2-0 lead after loading the bases in the top of the seventh. Ian Desmond led off the inning with a single and Tom Murphy followed with a double, but Gonzalez flew out to center.
Gonzalez said he took a big swing and just missed on driving a ball deep.
"I took a good hack," Gonzalez said. "Missed it. I think that's what killed us today."
Chris Iannetta followed with a walk to load the bases, but Noel Cuevas popped out and DJ LeMahieu grounded out to end the inning.
"We had bases loaded with one out and we couldn't execute," Gonzalez said. "Didn't take advantage of it. And that's what baseball does to you sometimes. You don't score and they end up scoring two runs and tie the game."
HE SAID IT
"As soon as you don't end up scoring runs, the next thing you know, leadoff triple. So, that's what really killed us." -- Gonzalez, on the Rockies not capitalizing on a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With one out in the fifth and the Rockies leading, 1-0, Gonzalez was initially called safe on an infield single after first-base umpire Alan Porter ruled that Gonzalez beat a throw from Odor. Rangers manager Jeff Banister challenged the play, and the call was overturned. The Rockies were held scoreless in the inning.
Right-hander Jon Gray pitches in the Rockies' series finale against the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. MT on Sunday at Globe Life Park. Gray is 2-3 with a 7.98 ERA in his past six starts. He struck out 10 in his last start against the Phillies on Tuesday. It was the 11th time in Gray's career and third time this season that he has struck out 10 or more in a start. Gray will face right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.