Rockies pound Marlins, climb to within 10 games of .500

Aug 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron (25) hits a grand slam home run in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies over the weekend scored 34 runs en route to a three-game sweep of the visiting Miami Marlins. The Rockies, winners of seven of 10 overall, are back to within 10 games of .500 for the first time since May 24.

Colorado got the party started with a 14-2 drubbing of the Marlins on Friday. Germán Márquez dominated on the mound, allowing just two hits and a walk in six scoreless innings. He struck out seven, and was pulled after just 76 pitches. That was because his team build an 11-0 lead behind a pair of homers from C.J. Cron and dingers off the bats of Charlie Blackmon and Elias Díaz. Ryan McMahon homered later in the game, and Sam Hilliard led the Rockies with three hits.

The Rockies kept the momentum rolling on Saturday, jumping out to a 7-0 lead after five innings. The runs were mostly a luxury for starter Austin Gomber, who tossed six scoreless innings of his own, striking out nine without issuing a walk. Connor Joe had a pair of hits and four RBI to pace the Rockies’ offense. Cron stayed hot with a double, a single, and a walk in four trips to the plate in Colorado’s 7-4 win.

The Cron show continued on Sunday, when the first baseman hit a grand slam and a three-run homer to lead the Rockies to a 13-8 victory in the finale. The first blast gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning, while the second essentially sent the Marlins packing by increasing Colorado’s lead to 11-1. Joe also homered twice after entering the game as a pinch hitter, and Hilliard added another long ball to his tally. This time, the Rockies needed a substantial offensive output; Kyle Freeland allowed four runs on seven hits in only five innings of work, but it was enough for him to pick up a Pitcher Win.

The only real concerns on the offensive side for the Rockies during the series were injuries to Brendan Rodgers and Raimel Tapia. Rodgers was hit in the hand on Saturday but, while the injury looked bad at first, the club isn’t concerned about him missing much time after x-rays came back negative. Rodgers did sit out the hit parade on Sunday. Tapia, meanwhile, has been dealing with a nagging toe injury that contributed to him going just 1-for-8 in the series. The Rockies are awaiting results from scans Tapia underwent following his removal from the finale.

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Almost everyone in the Rockies’ lineup qualifies for this category after an incredibly productive home stand, but somehow Cron is head and shoulders above the rest. The 31-year-old veteran has been, by OPS, Colorado’s best offensive player this season, and that really showed up at Coors Field this past week. Cron finished 10-for-18 in five games against the Cubs and Marlins, hitting four homers and a double–not to mention drawing three walks–and driving in a whopping 16 runs.

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The Rockies’ bullpen, by and large, did not have a good series against the Marlins. The unit allowed 10 runs in 10 innings, though that was mostly the work of Tyler Kinley and Ashton Goudeau. Still, if Colorado wants to continue its climb back toward .500, it will need bullpen arms besides Daniel Bard and Robert Stephenson, neither of whom have exactly been world beaters themselves this season, to step up.

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Colorado’s resolve will be tested during a six-game road swing that take the club through Houston and San Francisco. Both of those teams lead their respective divisions and are two of the better clubs in all of baseball. It is worth noting, as we’ve done all year, that the Rockies are just 13-40 on the road compared to 38-21 at home.