Wright, Rockies blank Tigers
DENVER – A cool, damp day took some of the bite out of Coors Field.Jamey Wright pitched six-hit ball into the eighth inning and Garrett Atkins hit a two-run homer to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Friday, matching the lowest-scoring game in Coors Field’s 11-year history.”I’d marvel at it a little bit more if it was a bright, sunny day and the wind was blowing out, but I’m going to marvel at it anyway because the ball can find the seats in this ballpark pretty easily at times,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “We pitched very well today as did they. We just pitched better than they did.”Heavy rain delayed the game’s start 56 minutes and it was still cold and wet once things got underway – ideal pitching conditions at Coors.Neither team could get much going against the other’s starter, with the game remaining scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning. That’s when Atkins lifted a changeup by Mike Maroth (4-7) over the wall in right-center for a two-run homer.The crowd kept waiting for something else to happen, but nothing ever did.Colorado managed just seven hits and was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Detroit also had seven hits and had just two runners get past second base.The result was the third two-run game at Coors Field since it opened in 1995 and first since Colorado’s 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 9, 2002. Atlanta beat the Rockies by the same score on June 16, 1995.”This is surprising to get shut out here,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “I would have not expected that, that’s for sure.”Wright (4-5) didn’t give the Tigers many chances, getting 11 outs on groundballs and allowing one runner past second base. He was lifted with one out in the seventh inning after giving up consecutive singles to Nook Logan and pinch-hitter Chris Shelton.Jay Witasick, Wright’s replacement, got Brandon Inge to ground out and struck Placido Polanco, who was 1-for-4 in his Tigers’ debut, to end the inning. Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth inning to complete the 27th shutout in Coors Field history – 15th combined – and earn his sixth save.”It was a very well-pitched game by us throughout the ball game,” Hurdle said. “A 2-0 game, those are fun to have.”Maroth wasn’t bad, either. Making his 100th career start, he allowed seven hits and two runs in seven innings – normally plenty good at Coors – but still came away with his fifth straight loss.Colorado had runners at the corners with no outs against Maroth in the second inning, but the left-hander got Desi Relaford and Danny Ardoin on infield popups and Wright on a groundout to escape the jam. Maroth also left two on in fourth by getting Ardoin to hit a weak grounder to first before being caught by surprise by Atkins’ homer in the sixth.”I thought it was a popup to tell you the truth,” Maroth said. “You have to throw the Colorado factor in – it wasn’t a bad pitch. It obviously hit the barrel, but I didn’t think he got it. Judging by the swing, I thought it was going to be on the warning track.”Wright’s biggest problem was keeping Maroth, a career .167 hitter, off the bases. The Tigers pitcher drew a walk in the third inning while trying to bunt, then had his third career hit in the sixth inning.Still, he had plenty of motion on his breaking pitches, kept the ball down in the zone and hit the corners for his third straight solid outing – all at Coors Field. Wright has allowed just four earned runs in 19 1-3 innings after an eight-run, three-inning outing against Milwaukee on May 25 had him a step away from being demoted.”I have been myself. I haven’t tried to do too much, overthrowing,” said Wright, who has a 17 1-3 innings scoreless streak against Detroit. “I have been taking my stuff and challenging the hitters with it.”Notes: Maroth is the 15th left-hander in team history with 100 starts, first since Justin Thompson in 1999. … The latest a game remained scoreless game at Coors Field was 8 1/2 innings on Aug. 26, 1995, when St. Louis beat the Rockies 5-4. … Atkins also made a diving stop on a hard grounder by Craig Monroe in the fourth inning.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User