Cuddyer’s big night helps Grand Junction Rockies snap three-game skid
Even coming off a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two months, rookie league pitching was no match for last year’s National League batting champion.
Colorado Rockies’ outfielder Michael Cuddyer, on rehab assignment with the Grand Junction Rockies and playing first base, wasted no time getting into the swing of things Wednesday night in Billings, Montana. In his first game since June 5, he collected three hits, two of them doubles, in three at-bats and drove in three runs to lead Grand Junction to a 6-5 win over the Mustangs in Pioneer League baseball.
Cuddyer singled up the middle in the first inning, then lined a double into left field to drive in two runs in the third inning.
In the fifth inning, Cuddyer doubled to left field again, driving in the first of two runs as the Rockies tied the score 4-4.
Dom Nunez followed with a double to score Cuddyer with the tying run.
That was it for Cuddyer at the plate, and Grand Junction got by without him when it rallied for two runs in the eighth to go up 6-5.
Hamlet Marte led off the eighth with a single, and one out later Wilson Soriano singled him to third. After Soriano stole second, Wesley Jones singled to center to send both runners home.
From there, Grand Junction got two scoreless innings of relief, one apiece from Yoely Bello and Alec Crawford. Bello got credit for a hold, and Crawford recorded his seventh save of the season, striking out two batters and withstanding a single he allowed with one out.
Rockies reliever Anthony Bryant pitched one inning, a scoreless seventh, to earn the win, his second.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Rockies (28-20, 5-5 second half).
Grand Junction struggled to get the win despite outhitting Billings 13-5. The Rockies stranded eight runners to the Mustangs’ five.
Nunez and Soriano each collected two hits for Grand Junction, and Soriano stole three bases, giving him 14 for the season.
The teams conclude their four-game series tonight at 7:05. Billings (24-25, 7-4 second half) leads the series 2-1.