Kyle Freeland comes up clutch as Rockies sweep the Mets

May 6, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland (21) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies closed out a nine-game road trip Sunday with a 3-2 victory and swept over the New York Mets. The victory over New York moves Colorado’s record to 5-0 in the month of the May. Colorado finished the extended road trip with a record of 6-3 and a pair of crucial series victories over National League foes; Chicago and New York.

While the bats have been inconsistent for the Rockies through the early portion of the season, the starting rotation has been solid. In the 10 games prior to Sunday’s contest with the Mets, the Rockies starters recorded nine quality starts (seven consecutive) and a league-best ERA of 1.68. That was once again the case, as Kyle Freeland tossed seven strong innings for manager Bud Black.

The streak of eight-consecutive quality starts ties a club record and marks the first time it has been done by a Rockies rotation since 2009 when they won 92 games.

The second-year starter was tagged for two runs on three hits in the first inning, but Freeland was able to find his groove after that as he only gave up one hit in the next six innings. In a game where the Rockies had to face New York’s hard throwing ace, Noah Syndergaard, Freeland’s ability to keep his cool after a rocky first frame was crucial.

Freeland consistently kept the count in his favor and was able to come up with a big pitch when the team needed it most. Freeland only saw one baserunner after the second inning and, from the fourth inning on, Freeland retired 12-consecutive hitters.

After the first inning, the only ball that was really even hit hard off of Freeland came in the sixth inning when Asdrubal Cabrera launched a ball 369 feet to left field, but was robbed when Gerardo Parra made a leaping catch against the wall.

In seven total innings, the Denver native recorded eight strikeouts and one walk. His performance made up for the offense, which was fairly quiet Sunday afternoon.

Most notably, Ian Desmond recorded his fourth-career multi-home run game with a pair of solo shots.

The first came in the second inning when Desmond hit his first bomb to left field on the season. Then, in the eighth inning, Desmond took a 96 MPH fastball the opposite way and launched it 391 feet over the right field fence to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead.

Following an eighth inning that was tag-teamed by Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee, Adam Ottavino finished things off in the ninth. The save is Ottavino’s first since September of 2016. 

The Rockies will return to Coors Field on Tuesday for a three-game series with the Angels. Following the rare matchup with the Halos, Colorado will host Milwaukee for three games.

Colorado will look to heat up offensively and provide the team’s starters with a little run support. After struggling to capitalize with runners in scoring position against the Mets on Sunday, the Rockies have a chance to spark things at home.

Andrew Heaney is currently slated to start for the Angels on Tuesday. In his last three starts, the left-handed pitcher is 1-1 with an ERA of 5.28. Jon Gray will be on the hill for Colorado. The Rockies ace is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.50 in his last three starts.

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