MIAMI – Buoyed by seven innings of two-hit ball from ace left-hander Kyle Freeland and some hot bats to start the season, the Colorado Rockies won their 2019 opener 6-3 over the Miami Marlins.
Freeland allowed one earned run on two hits, striking out five and walking one over seven innings of work. He threw 63 strikes over 93 pitches and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning.
He gave up his lone run on a sixth-inning solo home run by Marlins pinch-hitter J.T. Riddle – starting the 2019 season where he left off in 2018, when he ended the season with a 17-7 record and 2.85 ERA.
The Rockies blew open the game in the fourth inning by playing small ball. Nolan Arenado scored on a David Dahl single to right field, then Dahl and Trevor Story were brought home on a single by Ryan McMahon and an error by Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson.
Catcher Chris Iannetta doubled to deep center to drive in McMahon to make it 4-0 to end the fourth.
In the fifth, Trevor Story hit a solo home run to left. After Dahl again reached base, Ian Desmond doubled him home to make it 6-0 Rockies.
Freeland would give up the sixth-inning homer to Riddle before finishing the sixth and seventh.
In the eighth inning, reliever Scott Oberg gave up a home run to the first batter he faced but was able to work the rest of the inning on seven pitches. The Rockies’ bullpen struggled last season and is looking to rebound in 2019, though its performance on opening day could raise eyebrows.
Seunghwan Oh struck out Garrett Cooper to start the 9th and got Matt Prado to fly out to left. But catcher Jorge Alfaro narrowed the Rockies’ lead to three with another solo home run off Oh.
Oh would finish the ninth by getting shortstop Miguel Rojas to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
The Rockies will finish the weekend with three games at Miami before heading for a Monday-through-Wednesday series at Tampa Bay. The Rockies’ home opener is set for next Friday, April 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.