DENVER (AP) – Solid pitching and little or no offense added up to a dismal homestand for the Colorado Rockies.
The pattern repeated itself when CC Sabathia and five relievers held Colorado to four hits as the New York Yankees beat the Rockies 3-1 on Thursday in a game that was delayed more than two hours by rain.
Robinson Cano supplied the Yankees’ offensive punch with a pair of hits, including a solo homer in the fifth inning. His infield single in the third was his 1,500th hit and the Yankees took two of three from Colorado, which completed a 2-4 homestand.
“Our pitching was outstanding. Offense was definitely subpar. Not acceptable,” manager Walt Weiss said.
Rockies pitchers limited the Yankees to six runs in the interleague series but only managed to come away with a win in the opener, when Colorado beat New York 2-0.
A frustrating seventh inning, when the Rockies got three of their four hits, epitomized their recent struggles on offense. Wilin Rosario singled to start the inning but reliever Adam Warren (1-0) got Nolan Arenado to ground into a double play.
Jordan Pacheco and Josh Rutledge followed with singles and Warren was relieved by David Robertson, who struck out pinch-hitter Todd Helton.
“With runners in scoring position, we didn’t swing the bat as well as we’d like,” Helton said. “But that’s kind of the nature of the beast. You just kind of keep your head up, keep the same approach and when the situation arises (again), don’t put too much pressure on ourselves to get that hit. Just let it happen.”
Weather remained an issue throughout the series.
A steady rain delayed the first pitch by 8 minutes. The grounds crew constantly dumped diamond dry on the infield between innings to keep the surface playable. In the fourth, another thunderstorm rumbled through the city and halted the game for 1:59.
The break meant the end of the day for Sabathia, who allowed one run and one hit in four innings. He threw 51 pitches, breaking a string of 13 straight starts in which he reached the 100-pitch plateau.
But a stream of relievers picked up where Sabathia left off. Warren picked up his first big league win by getting five outs after the rain delay. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth to remain perfect in 13 save chances.
Jeff Francis (1-3) threw four innings for the Rockies and gave up two runs before rain forced the umpires to signal for the tarp. The lefty didn’t return when play was resumed.
Vernon Wells had an RBI single in the first for New York and Chris Stewart drove in another run on a sacrifice fly.
Like Sabathia, Francis was putting together a solid outing when the weather delay forced an early exit for him.
“It’s hard to get frustrated with the weather. You just have no control over that. It’s the same for both teams. Something happens and you try to make the best of it,” Francis said.
Though it was cut short, Francis seemed generally satisfied with his performance.
“I executed some good pitches, but it’s four innings,” he said. “It’s not really a long time to get a judgment. They did a good of manufacturing the run in the fourth off the leadoff double. A broken-bat single scores a run in the first. They’re a good team, but we expected more out of ourselves in this series.”
Troy Tulowitzki was back in the lineup after missing the previous two days with soreness in his legs. He wasn’t in his customary cleanup spot but hit No. 3 in the order as Weiss elected to flip-flop the All-Star shortstop and Carlos Gonzalez against the left-handed Sabathia.
Tulowitzki was 1 for 3 with a walk, while Gonzalez wound up 0 for 3 and struck out twice. Gonzalez drove in the Rockies’ lone run with a sacrifice fly in the first.
NOTES: The Rockies now embark on a six-game road swing, with RHP Jon Garland (2-2) pitching Friday in St. Louis. … Weiss was asked if he thought Rivera’s strike zone seemed to expand in the ninth on Wednesday. “I’m not allowed to comment on those things, am I?” Weiss said. “I’m a little green in this position, but I’m smart enough to know that one.”
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