Stolz’s big hits in return lift Rockies past Raptors
Sometimes being injured is a blessing in disguise.
Jason Stolz returned to the Grand Junction Rockies lineup Wednesday night for the first time in eight games. He jammed his neck sliding into a base on Aug. 27 at Great Falls.
He looked like he hasn’t missed one game.
“I guess being injured helped him out,” Grand Junction manager Tony Diaz said of Stolz. “Sometimes it helps you relax your mind, take it easy.”
Stolz went 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBI to lead the Rockies to a 5-4 victory over the Ogden Raptors in front of 2,371 at Suplizio Field. The attendance for the season is 99,105 with one regular season home game left tonight.
“It sure was a good night,” Stolz said. “I was just happy to be back out there playing. I was hoping to put some good swings on the ball and luckily I got some pitches I could handle and barreled them up pretty good.
“I tried to relax and not worry too much about the result. Any night, I take that.”
Stolz picked a good night to return with Colorado Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa on the mound for a rehab start.
De La Rosa allowed three hits and struck out five in three innings. One of the hits was a hard-hit ground ball back at him in the third — with the sawed off bat bouncing at his feet. De La Rosa fielded the ground ball, but couldn’t get the runner in time.
“It’s definitely a great experience, when the big leaguers come down and play for us,” said Stolz of De La Rosa. “It’s pretty cool playing behind them, watching his command and how professional he is.”
The trainer started running out to the mound, but De La Rosa shooed him away.
De La Rosa struck out the next two batters to keep the score locked at zero.
The Rockies (42-33) broke up the scoreless game in the bottom half with Stolz’ two-run home run off Ogden starter Miguel Sulbaran.
“Carl (Thomore) did a great job leading off with a base hit,” Stolz said. “I was able to get to a 2-0 count. I was looking for the exact pitch he gave me, a fastball middle in.”
Thomore tripled to center field in the fifth. Stolz singled Thomore home for a 3-1 lead.
Thomore never expected to triple with the hamstring problems he’s had this season.
“It didn’t look too pretty, either, but I got there,” he said.
Matt Wessinger doubled and scored on Thomore’s single in the sixth and Max White walked and scored on Correlle Prime’s double in the seventh for a 5-2 lead.
Johendi Jiminian, who was scheduled to start before De La Rosa’s rehab assignment was announced, pitched one inning in relief, but left after a line drive appeared to hit him in the right ankle.
Diaz said the staff will take a look at his ankle today and go from there.
Ogden’s Malcolm Holland, walked in the fifth, stole second and third then scored on a fielder’s choice.
The Raptors (44-31) pushed one run across in the seventh. Tae-Hyeok Nam led off with a single and scored on Devin Shines’ double to the left-field wall.
The Dodgers No. 1 draft pick, Corey Seager, lined a home run, one-hoping the first row of cars to right in the eighth.
Shines hit a solo home run in the ninth off Jesse Meaux.