Rockies rookie makes successful stretch after Weiss wins challenge in LA
LOS ANGELES -- It took every inch that Rockies rookie Kyle Parker could stretch -- and an instant-replay review -- for him to pass his first big test playing first base at the Major League level during Wednesday night's 8-0 loss at Dodger Stadium.
First-base umpire Phil Cuzzi ruled that catcher Wilin Rosario's throw had pulled Parker off the bag after Dodgers speedster Dee Gordon tried to beat out a swinging bunt in front of the plate to lead off the third inning. However, manager Walt Weiss challenged, and the call was overturned when replay showed that the right-handed Parker was able to reach across his body toward the infield while keeping his left foot in contact with the bag.
The Rockies hoped the reversal would help their momentum. In the first inning, Gordon drew a leadoff walk, stole second and took third when starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa made an errant pickoff throw. It led to a two-run inning.
This out, it turned out, did not stop the Dodgers, who posted a five-spot on their way to a rout behind Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter.
De La Rosa got the next batter, Hanley Ramirez, on a groundout to third base, thanks to a great play by Josh Rutledge, but Yasiel Puig drew a walk, Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp hit back-to-back RBI doubles, Scott Van Slyke walked and Miguel Rojas cleared loaded bases with a double off the left-field wall as the Dodgers batted around for five runs.
At any rate, the nice stretch could serve as a confidence-builder for Parker, the Rockies' first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Clemson who's spent the majority of his professional career playing the corners of the outfield.
The Rockies decided last year that being able to play first base would accelerate Parker's path to the Majors. Parker played first last year at Double-A Tulsa and in the Arizona Fall League after the season.
After the Rockies lost outfielder/first baseman Michael Cuddyer to injury early this month, they began using Parker at first base at Triple-A Colorado Springs to prepare him for the Majors. The Rockies called him up Monday. Wednesday's series finale was his first Major League start.
A second Rockies challenge did not produce an overturned call in the fifth inning. Umpires ruled that A.J. Ellis beat a relay throw on an attempted double play, and it was confirmed after review.
Weiss is 8-for-15 on replay challenges this season, the first that challenges have been allowed.