José Iglesias helps Rox to another series victory
With the offseason departure of All-Star shortstop Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies fans wondered how — and if — anyone could fill the void left offensively and defensively by Story.
Do not worry.
Jose Iglesias has proven to be a more than adequate replacement with Story now in Boston.
After making a career-high six points on Wednesday night, José Iglesias notched two more, including the go-ahead with a brace in the sixth inning, as Colorado held off San Diego 8-5 Thursday afternoon to clinch a series win over the Padres at Coors Field.
The Rox’s win (41-49), their third in a row after a series-opening loss to San Diego (50-41) on Monday night, gives Colorado six wins in its last eight games and follows a victory in the series (3 games to 1) on the road against Arizona.
Randal Grichuk, like Iglesias an offseason roster addition, had three RBIs with a pair of productive doubles while recently named All-Star CJ Cron had two hits and hits in a run and Yonathan Daza had a pair of hits in the Colorado offense at nine hits.
Nine was also the number of walks fired by Rox batters — a season high and the most since September 2019 — against five San Diego pitchers, including six walks by Padres starter Blake Snell in just 3, 2 sleeves. Lead off batter Connor Joe walked three for the Rox.
Iglesias, whose six RBIs Wednesday night allowed him to join Story and Troy Tulowitzki as the third shortstop in franchise history to achieve the feat, drew a goal-laden walk off Snell on Thursday to produce a run and give Colorado a 4-2 lead. in the fourth inning (Kris Bryant would follow with another goal-laden walk to increase the cushion to 5-2).
After San Diego rallied to tie the score at 5-5 with three single-handedly in the fifth, Iglesias once again hit the jackpot in a game-breaking sixth inning three-run for the Rockies.
After Joe tied on four pitches and then stole second base, Iglesias drove it home with a double to left field from Padres reliever Nabil Crismatt (5-2), who had given up a tie, two outs, three-run homer against the Rockies shortstop in the sixth inning Wednesday night in a game Colorado rallied for a 10-6 win.
Iglesias, who is now averaging .304 this season, recently suffered a tear at home plate. In his last six games, he is averaging .458 (11 for 24) with three doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs.
His double in the series opener with the Padres on Monday night was his 1,000th career hit. He is the 19th Cuban-born player in the Majors to achieve this distinction.
Defensively, entering Thursday’s game, Iglesias had committed just seven errors this season in 280 chances over 633.0 innings for a .975 field percentage. Against San Diego on Thursday, with runners on first and second base in the top of the second inning, he made a line drive and rode on second to complete an unassisted double play to keep the game scoreless at the era.
Grichuk, who recently showed signs of coming out of a striking funk after breaking an 0-for-14 drought with a home run on Tuesday night, finished Colorado’s sixth-run three-run with an RBI double to right field to give the home team a three-point advantage. The outfielder scored a two-run brace down the right field line to give the Rockies a 2-0 advantage early in the second inning.
After Grichuk’s second hit, Colorado’s bullpen took the three-run margin as Jhoulys Chacin (4-2), Jake Bird and Carlos Estevez teamed up to pitch five scoreless innings in relief for the starter. left-hander Kyle Freeland. Estevez picked up his first save of 2022 and first since Oct. 1, 2021 against Arizona.
Here are 3 things to love after the series win over the Padres:
1. Off and On
Colorado had a pair of stolen bases Thursday afternoon (Joe and Garrett Hampson) and the team now has nine interceptions in July. Entering this month, the Rockies had just 14 stolen baes in the 2022 campaign.
2. Conquer the West
The series finale with San Diego ended a 17-game streak against foes National League West. The Rox went 10-7 in those games and are now 21-18 against their four Western opponents this season while going 20-31 against all other opponents.
3. Catch and Throw
After an error-free on-court game Thursday, the Rockies have made just two on-court errors in their last 21 games, the fewest in the Majors over that span. The team had a 12-game error-free streak on Friday, the second-longest in franchise history. Coming into action Thursday, Colorado’s .997 fielding percentage over the last 20 games was the best in the Majors.
The Rockies continue their current homestand Friday night with Game 1 of a three-game weekend series with Pittsburgh.
German Marquez (5-7, 5.66 ERA) is expected to get the starting go-ahead on the mound for the Rox while Jose Quintana is the listed starter for the Pirates. Game time is 6:40 p.m. MT for the game’s national broadcast on Apple TV+.