Dahl, Murphy lift Rockies to comeback victory versus Reds

Jul 12, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray (55) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies defeated the Cinncinati Reds Friday night at Coors Field by a score of 3-2 in the first game of a three-game set.

Things were looking grim for the Rockies with the club trailing 2-1 entering the ladder stages of the game. Colorado’s offense had been held in check through the first seven innings, managing to score just one run.

That said, when the Reds opted to roll with their bullpen in the eighth inning, the Rockies’ offense came to life.

David Dahl proceeded to hit a solo shot into the second deck in right field to tie the game at two runs apiece. Daniel Murphy followed with a home run of his own, a go-ahead shot to right field to establish a one-run lead entering the ninth inning. Murphy’s home run was his first Coors Field longball as a member of the Rockies.

Ahead are takeaways from the victory.

Touch of Gray

It was a battle of the Gray’s on the mound at Coors Field when Rockies’ starter Jon Gray squared off against Reds’ hurler Sonny Gray.

The two starting pitchers went toe-to-toe throughout the opening portion of the ballgame with each pitcher virtually mirroring the other. Both starters managed to work five scoreless innings before allowing a run. Interestingly enough, the Gray’s first mishap of the game came in the sixth inning where each pitcher allowed a single run.

With the game tied at a run apiece, the Reds managed to establish a lead in the seventh inning when Eugenio Suarez cranked a solo home run over the fence in right field, creating a 2-1 advantage for Cincinnati.

That said, it appeared as if the Rockies were on the brink of a rally after Tony Wolters started the bottom half of the seventh inning with a single.

However, the Rockies’ momentum was stalled rather quickly when Raimel Tapia pinch-hit in place of Jon Gray. Tapia proceeded to strikeout following the third base umpire declaring he swung at a ball that wound up in the dirt. At a glance, it appeared as if Tapia checked his swing, but the umpire said otherwise.

Additionally, the Reds managed to catch Wolters asleep at the wheel at first base. Reds’ catcher Curt Castali proceeded to fire the ball down to first after Tapia struck out. Joey Votto then slapped a tag on Wolters before he could reach back to the bag to complete a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play.

Cincinnati escaped the inning unscathed and preserved a solid outing from Sonny Gray. The 29-year-old finished with a line of seven innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out nine batters.

The Rockies’ Jon Gray departed after seven innings, surrendering two runs on four hits while striking out six batters.

Defense wins what? 

The Rockies’ defensive alignment was stellar throughout the early portion of the ballgame and did a good job of supporting Jon Gray.

Gray allowed just one hit through five innings largely in part due to some eye-raising plays around the diamond.

Nolan Arenado and Trevor Stoy each made spectacular spinning throws across the field in the game to keep runners off the bases and limit damage to a minimum.

Even Gray made a stellar play, firing a ball to first base on a weak ball hit in front of the mound.

Arenado was in vintage form all night long, making incredible plays that forced him across the diamond. The All-Star’s range and cannon were on display to the joy of Rockies’ fans packed into 20th and Blake for the first game of the second half.

Get used to Red

Friday’s ballgame between the Reds and Rockies marked the first of six games the two clubs will play against each other in the month of July. The Rockies will travel to Cincinnati and play a three-game set from July 26-28 to wrap up a 10-game road trip.

Colorado has dominated the Reds in recent memory, having won every season series between the two, with the exception of 2016, since 2013, posting a 23-17 record in that span.

Additionally, a surplus of Rockies’ hitters have experienced great success versus the Reds with Charlie Blackmon, Daniel Murphy and Nolan Arenado ranking third, fourth and sixth amongst active players in batting average versus Cincinnati entering Friday’s contest.

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