Rockies Outlast Royals for Cactus League Win

Cole Ragans of the Royals pitching to Ezequiel Tovar of the Rockies

Rockies 4, Royals 2

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Mar. 12) — A two-run single by Elias Diaz, combined with a two-run homer by Coco Montes, gave the Colorado Rockies a 4–2 Cactus League victory over the visiting Kansas City Royals Tuesday afternoon at Salt River Fields.

Rockies – Royals Game Summary

The Royals took a 2–0 lead in the top of the first off Rockies right-hander Cal Quantrill. Bobby Witt, Jr. singled to center. Vinnie Pasquantino followed with a single, with Witt being called out for interference after being hit by the grounder. Maikel Garcia knocked in Pasquantino with a two-run homer.

The Rockies tied the game in the bottom of the first off left-hander Cole Ragans. Charlie Blackmon led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a one-out single by Brendan Rodgers. Nolan Jones walked to load the bases before Elias Diaz ripped an opposite-field single to right. The knock scored Blackmon and Rodgers, and a fielding error by Royals right fielder Tyler Gentry allowed Jones to reach third and Diaz to reach second.

More Rockies runs came in the bottom of the second, giving them the lead. Brenton Doyle led off with an infield single between the mound and the third-base line. Coco Montes brought him home with a two-run homer, his first dinger of the spring, making the score 4–2. The Rockies and Royals held each other scoreless the rest of the way.

What Went Right for the Rockies

Leaving Opposing Runners on Base

Cal Quantrill had runners reach scoring position in the second, third, and fourth innings, but he stranded all of them. Incidentally, the only inning where he allowed a run was the first, when the Garcia homer scored Pasquantino from first base.

Quantrill, in total, allowed two runs on seven hits with one walk and no strikeouts across four innings. This was his first spring start since March 2 against the Cincinnati Reds, with his last scheduled start having been rained out.

Hitting the Ball Well

Six of the nine starting Rockies position players notched a hit. Of the six, one had two hits: Brendan Rodgers, who is batting .385 (10-for-27) with two doubles and seven runs scored in Cactus League play.

“Both (hits) were driven well the other way,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of Rodgers. Black added, “He’s getting there. Getting closer to really being locked in.”

Brenton Doyle went 1-for-3 to bring his spring average up to .370 (10-for-27) with four runs scored.

Scoreless Relief

Rockies relievers did not allow a run. Left-handed reliever Evan Justice and right-handed relievers John Curtiss, Tyler Kinley, Justin Lawrence, and Geoff Hartlieb threw one scoreless inning each. Neither Kinley nor Justice has allowed a run so far in the spring.

What Went Wrong for the Rockies

Didn’t Hit Much after Second Inning

Of the Rockies’ nine hits, six came in the first two innings.


“Unfortunately got rained out last one. So it felt like it had been a while. (I’m) trying to get used to batters in the box again. I did feel smooth, felt clean, (but) I need to be a little finer, especially early in counts. Another team that was super aggressive today, and I just need to be careful. I’m not throwing too many of those 0–0 pitches catching too much of the plate. But overall, I felt pretty good.” — Cal Quantrill on his outing

“I thought his stuff was good. That’s what I’m looking for now: the delivery, how the ball is coming out of his hand, how he feels. It’s important (in) the middle of March, how a pitcher feels physically. If the pitcher feels good physically, that means he usually feels good mentally. So I think Cal is in a good spot.” — Bud Black on Cal Quantrill’s Outing

“Kinley is a guy that we count on a lot, as far as mentoring the younger guys. He’s a little bit older and has been through the grind of a major-league season. So we’re gonna lean on Kinley a lot. But he’s throwing the ball well, too, and he’s poised. His heartbeat’s in the right spot. And Lawrence, another year of spring training with us. Last year, making it through the whole year. I think he’s ready now to solidify himself as a bona-fide major league reliever for years to come. He’s throwing the ball well. Fastball has life and velocity, breaking ball is solid. So those two guys have to be an integral part of our bullpen as far as performance goes.” — Bud Black on Tyler Kinley and Justin Lawrence’s outings

Looking Ahead

Both the Rockies and Royals will play again Wednesday. The Rockies will remain at Salt River Fields, facing their complex-mates, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Rockies right-hander Tanner Gordon will face Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly. First pitch will be at 1:10 pm Arizona Time/2:10 pm Mountain Daylight Time. The Royals will return to Surprise, Arizona to host the Los Angeles Angels. A pair of lefties will start on the hill, Reid Detmers for the Angels and Daniel Lynch IV for the Royals. First pitch will be at 1:05 pm Arizona Time/3:05 pm Central Time.

Main Photo Credits:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Mar. 12) — Cole Ragans of the Kansas City Royals pitches to Ezequiel Tovar of the Colorado Rockies in Cactus League action Tuesday afternoon at Salt River Fields. (Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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