Rodriguez lifts Rockies past Orem
OREM, Utah — After failing to bring in the go-ahead run with a squeeze during the 11th inning of a tie game, Wilfredo Rodriguez bounced back two pitches later and singled in two runs, helping the Rockies to a 4-2 win over the Orem Owlz at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Rodriguez finished the game with four hits, and he knocked in three runs, all coming with two out as the Rockies improved to 18-13 in the second half. It also was victory No. 39 of the season, which assures them of an overall record better than .500.
“Rodriguez continues to exceed expectations this season,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “This is an 18-year-old kid who is hitting in the three hole and coming up with big hits in a big game.”
Orem took an early lead when Michael Bolaski singled home Chevy Clarke, but that’s all they managed against Eddie Butler, who held them to that one run in six innings. In three previous outings against Orem, the right-hander allowed nine runs over nine innings.
“I had no doubts that Butler would come up with a quality start tonight,” Diaz said. “He had good command, and after they had some hits early on, he was lights out.”
It wasn’t until the seventh when the Rockies got on the board. Juan Ciriaco tripled to start the inning, and he scored when Max White followed with a triple of his own to tie the game. With two out, Rodriguez singled him in to give the Rockies the lead.
Orem had a chance to tie it in the bottom of the seventh, but Mike Mason worked out of a bases-loaded jam. He tossed a scoreless eighth and came back out for the ninth and had the Owlz down to their final out, but Sherman Johnson doubled home Bolaski to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
Grand Junction had a chance to regain the lead in the 10th, but they stranded a runner at third. Patrick Johnson sent the game to the 11th inning by throwing a perfect 10th, and he secured the first win of his career.
Julian Yan, Ashley Graeter and White had two hits for the Rockies, who are now 19-18 on the road this season.
Tonight, the Rockies will finish their 11-game road trip when they play the finale of the two-game series in Orem. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m., with Johendi Jiminian getting the ball for the Rockies against Mark Sappington.