EditorsNote: adds new third graf; fixes “position” in fourth graf
Charlie Blackmon clubbed a walk-off home run with one out in the ninth inning, and the Colorado Rockies earned a split of a two-game interleague series with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday in Denver.
Blackmon socked his 20th homer of the season off Astros reliever Collin McHugh (5-1), who struck out four batters over two innings.
Three Colorado pitchers combined on a one-hitter. Right-hander Jon Gray threw seven innings of one-hit ball. Adam Ottavino pitched the eighth inning, and closer Wade Davis (1-3) earned the win with a scoreless ninth after being tagged for five runs on Tuesday.
The Rockies rallied in the seventh inning for a second consecutive night, drawing even at 2-all when Raimel Tapia scored from third after Astros third baseman J.D. Davis, a late defensive switch at the position, flipped over the railing of the visiting dugout while catching a Nolan Arenado popup.
In what was his second start since his return from the minors, Gray produced another strong effort. He retired the first 10 batters he faced with ease before stumbling through the fourth, starting with his one-out walk of Alex Bregman.
Jose Altuve followed with an RBI double to right-center field, plating Bregman and erasing a 1-0 deficit. Altuve scored later in the inning on a groundout from Marwin Gonzalez, but Gray stabilized things and stranded two runners in scoring position.
Altuve, who recorded the lone hit for the Astros, departed in the fifth inning due to right knee discomfort.
Gray allowed two runs (one earned) and two walks with six strikeouts. He has surrendered a total of two earned runs over 14 1/3 innings since his return.
Astros right-hander Charlie Morton labored with his command a bit, issuing four walks over six solid innings. Morton has walked as many as four batters in a start six times, with four of those instances coming over his past eight starts. Still, the Rockies managed only one run off Morton.
That tally came in the second inning when right fielder Carlos Gonzalez launched a leadoff home run into the Colorado bullpen in right field, his 12th dinger supplying the Rockies a 1-0 lead. Morton escaped additional damage in that frame when Trevor Story, who singled following the Gonzalez homer, was erased attempting to swipe second base and Garrett Hampson was picked off for the final out of the inning after working a walk.
During his final frame, Morton stranded two runners in scoring position with a strikeout of Hampson to preserve his 2-1 lead. An inning later, he no longer had a say in the decision.
—Field Level Media