ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Kris Bryant watched the replay multiple times and kept enjoying it. He wasn’t watching his first two RBIs in a Colorado Rockies uniform, but rather the tremendous catch by center fielder Randal Grichuk that took a three-run homer away from new Texas shortstop Corey Seager.
“Well, I thought off the bat that was gone. He hit it and it went right by the exit velo and launch angle thing (on the scoreboard). I saw the numbers and I was like oh, that was hit,” Bryant said. “One of the better catches I’ve seen. Just an unbelievable, game-saving catch.”
Grichuk’s leaping catch with his left arm extended above the six-foot wall ended the Rangers fifth inning, after Bryant had a go-ahead RBI double in the third inning and before he added a sacrifice fly in the seventh, as the Rockies won 4-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.
“That play that Grichuk made obviously changed the whole game. … That’s a three-run homer that would have given us the lead,” said Texas manager Chris Woodward, whose team is 1-4.
Colorado led 3-1 when Seager, who got a $325 million, 10-year contract from Texas, hit the towering 406-foot drive toward the Rangers bullpen in right-center that was caught by Grichuk, who like Bryant is in his first season with the Rockies
“I knew he got it well, and knew I was going to have a chance. Luckily he hit it high enough, that gave me time to get under it,” Grichuk said. “I didn’t really quite know where the wall was at, but I knew it was approaching. It was just one that I knew that I had to jump at that time, and brace for the wall at the same time, and luckily I came down with it.”
Rockies manager Bud Black, who got his 1,002nd managerial victory, said the dugout went crazy. Grichuk emphatically pumped his right fist, and Jhoulys Chacin (2-0) mouthed “Wow!” after thrusting both of his arms into the air while walking off the mound.
“That was a game-changer for sure,” Black said. “That was a three-run save. That was a great catch, he had to go a long way too, he was a little bit over in left-center.”
Five games into a $182 million, seven-year contract, Bryant is batting .350 (7 of 20) with hits in every game. But the four-time All-Star hadn’t driven in a run until his double down the right-field line off Martin Perez (0-1) right after Charlie Blackmon’s RBI single.
Chacin (2-0) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in. Daniel Bard worked around a hit batter and a single in the ninth for his second save in three chances.
Blackmon’s two hits doubled his total for the season — and his career at the Texas stadium with a retractable roof. The four-time All-Star entered the night batting .071 (1 for 14) overall this season, and a paltry .034 (1 for 29) in his previous seven games at Globe Life Field.
Neither starting pitcher made it out of the fifth inning in their debuts for their new teams. Less than a month after signing with the Rockies, Chad Kuhl struck out five while allowing one run and two hits over 4 1/3 innings. But the right-hander who pitched in 100 games for Pittsburgh the past five seasons also walked four. Perez was gone after the first two batters reached in the fifth. The lefty, who returned to Texas after three years away, allowed three runs and seven hits. He walked one batter and hit two.
Rockies: Third baseman Ryan McMahon had the day off after getting hit by three baseballs Monday — on his left calf while on the field during pregame batting practice, then got hit by pitches twice in the same game for the first time in his career. “My toe feels fine. The calf’s a little sore, forearm’s a little tight, but I’m fine,” McMahon said before Tuesday’s game. “It just wasn’t my day.”
Rangers: Right-handed reliever Garrett Richards, who opened the season on the 10-day injured list with a blister on his right middle finger, could be activated as early as Thursday. Richards went Triple-A Rock on Tuesday for an injury rehabilitation assignment.
Rockies: After a day off Wednesday, Colorado plays seven home games in a row. The Rockies open a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
Rangers: Texas is off Wednesday before the opener of a four-game series at home against the Angels on Thursday night, when reigning AL MVP and two-way standout Shohei Ohtani is the scheduled starter for Los Angeles.
By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Baseball Writer
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