August 29, 2018 / 5:30 AM / 5 months ago

Gonzalez's blast sparks Rockies to win over Angels

EditorsNote: Fixes ‘game’ into ‘came’ in 8th graf, plus previous re-send to adds new second graf with Rockies moving into tie for first

Carlos Gonzalez’s first-inning home run gave the Colorado Rockies an early lead, and starting pitcher Kyle Freeland and two relievers made it stand up in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night in Anaheim, Calif.

The victory coupled with the Diamondbacks’ 1-0 loss at San Francisco allowed Colorado to tie Arizona for first place in the National League West.

Freeland (12-7) gave up one run on five hits and two walks in six innings. Scott Oberg allowed one run in two innings, and Wade Davis struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth for his 36th save.

Short on available starting pitchers, the Angels had to employ a “bullpen game,” stringing together a series of relievers, starting with Noe Ramirez.

Ramirez made history in the process, becoming the first player in major league history to earn his first major league save one night before making his first major league start. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning Monday in a 10-7 win over Colorado.

Things didn’t go quite as well Tuesday, starting with Charlie Blackmon’s double leading off the game. One out later, Gonzalez hit a two-run homer to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead.

Freeland held the Angels scoreless until the fifth when Eric Young Jr. singled and eventually came around to score on a two-out single by David Fletcher.

With Ramirez (4-5) finished after one inning, the Angels’ relievers settled in, putting up zeros over the next five innings. Three of those innings came from Taylor Cole, who allowed only one Rockies hitter to reach base.

In the seventh inning, though, Colorado pushed across a run. Trevor Story singled, stole second, went to third on a flyout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ian Desmond for a 3-1 lead.

The Angels cut their deficit to 3-2 in the eighth after Fletcher led off the inning with a single, his third hit of the night. He tagged and went to second on a long flyout to center by Mike Trout, then went to third on a wild pitch. Fletcher then scored on Albert Pujols’ sacrifice fly.

Blackmon and Story each had two hits for the Rockies. Los Angeles’ Andrelton Simmons went 2-for-4.

—Field Level Media

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