June 23, 2024

Blach, 4 relievers lead Rockies over Athletics, 2-0; McMahon drives in both runs

Colorado Rockies' Ryan McMahon follows the flight of his RBI double against Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Luis Medina in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 30, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

By MICHAEL KELLY Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Ty Blach tossed five strong innings, Ryan McMahon had two hits and drove in both runs, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on Sunday to salvage the final game of the three-game series.
Matt Koch, Brent Suter and Daniel Bard each pitched an inning before Justin Lawrence capped the shutout with a clean ninth to earn his eighth save.
“That was pitching at its finest,” Rockies manager Buddy Black said. “It was a really, really good game when we needed it, on a summer day in Denver in late July when it’s hot and the ball flies. Two runs. Well pitched on both sides.”
Ramón Laureano had two hits and Luis Medina (3-8) allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Athletics.
Oakland, which entered the weekend series averaging 3.22 runs, put up a total of 19 runs in its wins Friday and Saturday nights against traditional starters. The Athletics’ bats went silent against Blach, a reliever and designated opener.
“To come to Coors and keep that offense in check and win two of three games shows the growth in the team,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “It shows that we continue to be competitive, and winning a series is a good sign.”
Blach (1-0), making his second straight start, went a season-high five innings and threw just 11 balls in his 52 pitches. He allowed three hits and only one runner past first base.
McMahon provided the run support with an RBI single in the third inning and a two-out double in the fifth to bring home Ezequiel Tovar.
“Any time you can come through, that’s what this game is about,” McMahon said. “That’s what feels good and just feels good to come through for your team.”
The Athletics’ best chance to score was against Suter in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with two outs. Suter got Nick Allen looking with a 78 mph changeup to end the inning.
Colorado continued its season-long 30th anniversary celebration by honoring four key figures in franchise history. Clint Hurdle, Pedro Astacio, Jorge De La Rosa and Carlos González were in attendance and recognized for their major contributions to the Rockies.
Hurdle managed the team to the 2007 World Series, Astacio holds team record for complete games with 14, De La Rosa has the most strikeouts in franchise history with 985, and González was a Gold Glove outfielder and NL batting champion. He also hit a walk-off homer to complete a cycle, which occurred on July 30, 2010.
González, Astacio and De La Rosa threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
Blach, a Denver native, grew up watching them play and got an extra boost from their presence.
“I was walking in from the bullpen and I was like, ‘I’m going to try to channel my inner Jorge de la Rosa,'” he said. “For me to be able to do that is really special.”
Rockies outfielder Randal Grichuk had a good audition this weekend if contending teams are in need of a veteran for the pennant drive. Grichuk homered twice, had four total hits Friday and Saturday and capped the series with a diving catch in right field on Sunday.
“That was outstanding,” Black said. “That’s a highlight-reel play.”
Athletics: Have not announced a starter for Monday night’s game at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rockies: LHP Austin Gomber (8-8, 5.83) will start the opener of a three-game series against San Diego on Monday night.