Rockies Settle for Spring Tie with Guardians; Late Walks the Culprit

Charlie Blackmon leading off of first in the Rockies Guardians games.

Rockies 8, Guardians 8 (Tie)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Mar. 19) — Late walks allowed the Cleveland Guardians to rally from a 7–0 deficit and tie the Colorado Rockies, 8–8, in Cactus League play Tuesday afternoon. Both teams used split squads in the game, with the Rockies also facing the Seattle Mariners in Peoria and the Guardians also hosting the Milwaukee Brewers in Goodyear.

Rockies – Guardians Game Summary

The Rockies put six runs on the board in the first, sending 11 men to the plate in the process. They opened the inning with four straight singles: Charlie Blackmon and Kris Bryant to right; Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers to left. McMahon drove in Blackmon, and Rodgers plated Bryant. Two batters later, Bradley Zimmer hit a bouncer to short, one that had a chance to be an inning-ending double play ball. It clanked off the glove of Gabriel Arias, however, and everyone was safe. McMahon scored on that play, making the score 3–0. The next batter, Sam Hilliard, hit a bouncer to second. It had the same result as the previous play, with Jose Tena committing the error this time, although no run scored.

This knocked starting pitcher Jaime Barria out of the game, although he returned to pitch the second inning under the “rollover” rule. Sean Bouchard, with the bases loaded, hit an infield fly for the second out. Alan Trejo took a pitch off the hand, forcing in the fourth run. Charlie Blackmon brought in Zimmer and Hilliard with a single to center, his second hit of the inning, to bring in the fifth and sixth runs. Blackmon made the score 7–0 with a towering leadoff homer to right-center in the bottom of the fourth.

The Lead Is Not Safe

The Guardians began chipping away in the top of the seventh off Rockies reliever Tyler Kinley. A Daniel Schneemann single, combined with a throwing error by substitute Rockies second baseman Adael Amador, allowed Chase DeLauter to score from first. Schneemann advanced to second on a walk by Raynel Delgado. Both scored on a double to right by former Rockie Dom Nuñez. The Rockies got one of those runs back in the bottom half on an RBI single by Hunter Stovall.

Two more Guardians runs came in the eighth inning off Rockies reliever Jake Bird. A pair of walks bookended a single, loading the bases for Raynel Delgado. His single to right scored Micah Pries from third, giving the Guardians their fourth run. Nuñez followed with a double-play groundout, but DeLauter scored from third on the play, making the score 8–5.

Nick Mears took the mound in the ninth with a save opportunity. A one-out Will Brennan walk and two-out Micah Pries single put two runners on for DeLauter. He capitalized with a three-run blast to the berm in right-center, tying the game at eight.

A one-out walk by Yanquiel Fernandez and errant pickoff throw by pitcher Lenny Torres Jr. gave the Rockies two chances to drive in the winning run from second. However, strikeouts by Ryan Ritter and Hunter Stovall left Fernandez out to dry, forcing the Rockies to settle for a tie.

What Went Right for the Rockies

Offensive Firepower Early

In the first four innings, the Rockies batted 8-for-22 with a home run, a hit batter, and seven runs scored. Charlie Blackmon hit exceptionally well, going 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. Manager Bud Black said after the game, “Good swings. Getting the barrel out front, some well-hit balls on the pull side. The homer was well-struck on a good fastball from the lefty. First at-bat, got the head out. Then a bases-loaded knock the other way on a pitch away from him. He’s doing his thing with pitches all around the strike zone, so that’s good to see from Charlie.”

Taking Advantage of Opponent Miscues

The Guardians committed four errors. From those errors, the Rockies scored three unearned runs.

Starting Pitching

Right-hander Dakota Hudson allowed no runs on three hits, walking one and striking out six across 4 2/3 innings.

“I liked what I saw from Dakota,” Black said. “The fastball had good movement, and the breaking ball was as good as we’ve seen all spring. A couple of good change-ups, but the feel for the breaking ball was there today. The fastball…got some ground balls, which is something that we’re looking for out of him, because he’s got the sinker. So, all in all, pretty good outing for him.”

Hudson mixed his pitches, which was part of the plan, he said afterwards. “Ellie (catcher Elias Diaz) was seeing some stuff. And we were able to utilize the change a bit more, move the ball around, and just play the game. Simplify a little bit.”

What Went Wrong for the Rockies

Walks by Relievers

Tyler Kinley, Jake Bird, and Nick Mears combined to walk five in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, respectively. Four of those runners scored.

The Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Innings

Furthermore, all eight Guardians runs came in the seventh through ninth innings. Over those three frames, they batted 8-for-16 with a double and a homer.

Lack of Run Production after First Inning

The Rockies scored six of their eight runs in the first inning. Of the two remaining runs, one came in the fourth and the other came in the seventh. From the second through the ninth innings, the Rockies stranded eight runners on base — six in scoring position. Three of the runners stranded in scoring position occurred in the seventh inning or later.


“I think it’s to learn how to quicken up the innings. The pitch count has been high, and that’s really not my game. So trying to keep my foot on the gas pedal and then try to figure out how to be more efficient through the game.” — Dakota Hudson on what he has left to work on before the season begins

Looking Ahead

Wednesday will see the Rockies play again, while the Guardians are off. The Rockies will play their spring “roommates,” the Arizona Diamondbacks, at 1:10 pm Arizona Time/2:10 Mountain Daylight Time, with the Diamondbacks as the designated home team. Right-hander Peter Lambert will start for the Rockies against Diamondbacks lefty Tommy Henry.

Main Photo Credits

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Mar. 19) — Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies leads off of first base while Cleveland Guardians first baseman David Fry prepares for the pitch in the first inning of their teams’ game 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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