Rox overcome miscue, turn crucial double play

Reliever Lyles buckles down to preserve lead in seventh

July 19th, 2017

DENVER -- The seventh inning of the Rockies 9-7 win over the Padres on Tuesday night was quite an adventure for reliever .
Lyles entered the previous inning, replacing Chris Rusin and induced a first-pitch groundout to end the sixth, but started the seventh by giving up 's first Major League home run. Then he walked to bring the tying run to the plate.
That was when Lyles buckled down. After a foul popup from , Lyles got three straight ground balls to three different infielders. Though DJ LeMahieu committed an error on the first and legged out an infield single on the second, the third ground ball -- off Lyles' only changeup of the night -- turned into an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play.
"DJ, I know he wants [that] back, he's a Gold Glover for a reason, and more times than not, he makes that play," Lyles said. "But just trying to stick with the plan … it wasn't time to give in, and I was able to throw a changeup and get Aybar to roll over it."
The Rockies' bullpen has hit a rough patch recently and Tuesday's seventh inning was nearly another collapse. As the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches with the Rockies in contention, relief help behind closer Greg Holland is the club's No. 1 priority.
This season has also been a grind for Lyles, who has a 6.70 ERA in 41 2/3 innings. With starter only throwing five innings, Lyles said he was on his toes in the bullpen.
Additionally, to be able to get that inning-ending double play was a sigh of relief for Lyles.
"Definitely after making that bad pitch to lead off the inning with the leadoff homer," Lyles said. "Had some traffic, but at the end of the day it's about the scoreboard and we still had a game to win, so I had to put all that aside, keep focusing, tried to get ground balls and finally that last one worked out."