Sam Hilliard, Connor Joe power Rockies to rout of Angels
Austin Gomber pitched another terrific game Tuesday night, steering the Rockies to a victory over the Angels.
But the left-hander took a backseat to an offense that exploded for 16 hits in a 12-3 rout at Anaheim. It was Colorado’s second-best road outburst of the season, topped only by their 14-6 win at Arizona on May 1.
Colorado’s hit parade was led by Sam Hilliard’s 3-for-3 performance that included a three-run homer in a Colorado four-run fourth. Hilliard’s homer was his second in five days, coming after his go-ahead pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium last Friday.
Brendan Rodgers also homered, hitting a solo shot to deep center in the third, an encore to his solo homer to center on Monday night. Utility man Connor Joe, who got the start at first base, had a career-high three hits and drove in a career-high three runs.
For a Rockies team that has struggled to score away from Coors Field — they entered the game averaging just 2.8 runs per game — Tuesday was like spending the evening at nearby Disneyland.
In an effort to save arms, the Angels used lefty Adam Eaton, the veteran outfielder, as a reliever in the ninth. Eaton, pitching for the first time in his major-league career, gave up two hits but no runs.
Gomber, meanwhile, did what he’s been doing for most of the season. That is, he pitched with poise, aggression, and confidence. Over six innings, he limited the Angels to two runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking two.
Over his last 10 starts, Gomber is 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA, with 52 strikeouts vs. just six walks.
Save for one fat slider, Gomber was in total command. Unfortunately for Gomber, the mistake came against Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ legend in the making. In the fifth, Ohtani blasted a two-run homer 463 feet to center for his 36th homer, tops in the majors.
Gomber’s reaction was priceless. He flung his arms in disgust when Ohtani made contact (knowing instantly that the pitch was gone), then spinning around to watch the flight of the ball.
Ohtani has hit six home runs at least 450 feet this season, the most in baseball. He has mashed three homers of at least 460 feet, tied for fourth-most in a single season since tracking began by Statcast in 2015. He trails only Giancarlo Stanton (seven in 2017 and five in 2015) and the Rockies’ Trevor Story (five in 2018).
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