Guardians Thump Rockies in Cactus League Slugfest

Logan Allen of the Guardians throwing a pitch to Sam Hilliard of the Rockies in a spring training game.

Guardians 13, Rockies 7

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (Mar. 14) — The Cleveland Guardians routed the Colorado Rockies, 13–7, in a Cactus League slugfest Thursday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark. It was a game that saw 26 combined hits and featured five home runs, four by the Guardians and one by the Rockies.

Rockies – Guardians Game Summary

The Rockies took a 1–0 lead in the top of the second off Guardians left-hander Logan Allen. Elehuris Montero, after being hit by a pitch, advanced to second on an infield single by Bradley Zimmer. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to scoring position. Coco Montes hit a sinking liner to right that a sliding Will Brennan could not corral. Montero scored on the play, but Zimmer had to hold at second.

The Guardians countered in the bottom half off Rockies right-hander Peter Lambert. Brennan launched a no-doubt homer to right, tying the score. A pair of one-out singles by Brayan Rocchio and Myles Straw continued the frame, and a two-out double by Jose Tena scored Rocchio for a 2–1 lead.

It fell apart for the Rockies in the bottom of the fourth, as the Guardians batted around. Lambert hit Rocchio before giving up a double to Straw and walking Daniel Schneemann. A wild pitch scored Rocchio and advanced the runners before Lambert struck out Jose Tena. Evan Lambert entered the game and induced a grounder to second on a drawn-in infield. The throw home was late, and everyone was safe. Ramon Laureano doubled both runners home before stealing third. A Josh Naylor single scored Laureano, and a David Fry homer brought in Naylor. When the dust settled, the Guardians, after sending ten hitters to the plate, held a 9–1 lead.

Comeback Effort Isn’t Enough

The Rockies narrowed the deficit to 9–4 in the top of the fifth on a one-out, three-run homer by Alan Trejo off Emmanuel Clase. In the bottom half, the Guardians made it 10–4 after a Myles Straw double and fly-ball outs by Daniel Schneemann and Jose Tena off Anthony Molina.

Sacrifice flies by Alan Trejo and Sam Hilliard off Eli Morgan in the top of the seventh made the score 10–6, and an eighth-inning sacrifice fly by Drew Romo off Tyler Zuber brought the Rockies within 10–7. But back-to-back homers in the bottom of the eighth by Lorenzo Cedrola and Raynel Delgado extended the Guardians lead to 12–7. Later in the frame, Dayan Frias finished the scoring by doubling in Bryan Lavastida. All three runs were off Victor Vodnik.

What Went Right for the Rockies


The Rockies notched seven runs on ten hits. Montero snapped an 0-for-16 slump by batting 2-for-3 with a run scored. Trejo went 1-for-4 with a homer and four RBI. Sean Bouchard also went 2-for-3, as did Willie MacIver. Both scored a run, and Bouchard added a walk.

What Went Wrong for the Rockies

Bottom of the Fourth

The Guardians, as mentioned earlier, sent 10 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth. They notched seven runs — three off Lambert and four off Justice.

Location, Location, Location

Rockies manager Bud Black said after the game that the struggles of both Lambert and Justice were due to location. With Lambert, it was the location of his fastball. Black said of Lambert, “His change-up had good action. Thought his curveball was good. I thought his stuff was fine.”

With Justice, he left his fastball up. “He got the ground ball against the lefty,” Black pointed out, “which is what you want (with the) infield in. From there, some fastballs were elevated, and (Cleveland) took advantage of aggressive swinging on the fastballs.”


“When you’re looking at a spring training outing, you’re looking at a couple of different things. Obviously, the line wasn’t great, giving up five runs in under four innings. (It) isn’t great, but I got the workload up. Felt decent overall, so I’m happy with it.” — Peter Lambert on his outing

“The most important thing at this point of the spring is building on the pitch count and trying to feel better and better from each outing.” — Lambert on using spring outings to prepare for the season

Looking Ahead

The Rockies and Guardians both will play again Friday, the Rockies at their spring home and the Guardians on the road. Rockies right-hander Ryan Feltner will take the hill at Salt River Fields against Texas Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning. First pitch for that game will be at 1:15 pm Arizona Time/2:15 pm Mountain Daylight Time. The Guardians will head to Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona, where they will face the Kansas City Royals. Guardians right-hander Tyler Beede will toe the rubber against Royals right-hander Brady Singer, with first pitch at 1:05 pm Arizona Time/4:05 pm Eastern.

Main Photo Credits:

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (Mar. 14) — Sam Hilliard of the Colorado Rockies bats against Cleveland Guardians pitcher Logan Allen in the first inning of Cactus League play at Goodyear Ballpark. The Guardians defeated the Rockies, 13–7. (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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