July 12, 2024

Profar drives in 3, Gomber wins as Rockies rock Guards 6-0

Colorado Rockies' Jurickson Profar runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Cal Quantrill during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday April 24, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Austin Gomber bounced back from a hideous start to get his first win, Jurickson Profar drove in three runs and the Colorado Rockies won for just the second time in 13 games, beating the Cleveland Guardians 6-0 on Monday night.
Gomber (1-4) held the Guardians to three singles — all by Steven Kwan — in five scoreless innings. The left-hander was pounded for nine runs and nine hits in just two innings in a loss to Pittsburgh on April 19.
Following that game, Gomber opened up about feeling pressure to perform after coming over from St. Louis last year as part of the trade that sent All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Rockies to the Cardinals.
Gomber was disappointed in himself, and let it affect him on the mound.
But after talking to some teammates over the past few days, the left-hander felt much more at ease.
“My mind was in a better spot,” said Gomber, who won for the first time since July 12. “I had a lot of good conversations with guys in here. I felt a lot of support. … I’m glad I said what I said because I think it allowed me to have conversations I needed to have easier.”
Rockies manager Bud Black was pleased with Gomber’s location and velocity, but more excited about him getting a win.
“For his confidence, that was big,” Black said. “There’s nothing a player wants more than to contribute, to be a part of it, and Austin felt as if he wasn’t doing his part. But tonight he was huge component of this — on the road, against a good team and he shut them down.”
Profar homered in the first off Cal Quantrill (1-2), who lost for only the second time in 36 career starts at Progressive Field. Quantrill has lost both starts at home in 2023 after going 14-0 over his first 44 appearances in Cleveland.
“Just didn’t make good pitches in bad counts and fell behind a couple guys,” Quantrill said. “We battled. Just didn’t have my best game today.”
The Rockies stopped a three-game losing skid to improve to 7-17.
Cleveland managed just four hits and lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Colorado came 1-12 in games in which its opponent scored first. The Rockies played from in front this time as Profar put them up with his third homer, a one-out shot into the right-field seats.
As it turned out, it was all the Rockies would need.
They scored four more to chase Quantrill in the fourth as Ezequiel Tovar hit a two-run single followed by one from Profar, who had been the only MLB player without a hit in at least 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Rockies outfielder Brenton Doyle nearly got his first major league hit, when he appeared to beat out an infield single in the eighth.
However, the Guardians challenged the call and it was overturned, wiping out the hit for Doyle, called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Albuquerque.
He went 0 for 3 with a walk in front of more than two dozen family members and friends.
“He looked fine,” Black said. “He looked ready for this. He looked comfortable and confident.”
Doyle’s first game had Black reminiscing about his MLB entrance in 1981 for Seattle. Black came on in relief during a game at Boston’s Fenway Park.
“My knees were shaking,” Black said.
Guardians manager Terry Francona took a rare walk to work.
Unable to start his beloved scooter, Francona hiked over from his apartment to Progressive Field, but not before exploring other options.
Francona considered Uber, knowing he couldn’t use one of the electric downtown street scooters after trying to rent one in January.
“I used a credit card like seven times,” he said. “I went to seven different scooters. What am I doing wrong?”
Francona later learned they’re programmed not to work near the ballpark for safety reasons.
Francona’s scooter was stolen in the offseason, but later found by Cleveland police and returned to him.
Rockies: CF Yonathan Daza sat out after being hit on the left hand Sunday in Philadelphia. X-rays were negative. … 3B Ryan McMahon was in the initial starting lineup, but became ill and was scratched. Mike Moustakas took his spot and had three hits.
Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (1-2, 6.16 ERA), who grew up in the Cleveland area, faces rookie RHP Peyton Battenfield (0-1, 1.69), making his third career start.