DENVER - Everyone in the Colorado Rockies clubhouse likes the days when Kyle Freeland pitches. And this was one of those days.
Reeling just a few days ago from having lost nine straight at home to division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Rockies fed off the energy of their young starter to win the game 5-1 and take their fourth straight series.
The bullpen allowed just two baserunners---both coming against inarguably their best reliever---and the offense wore down Robbie Ray until finally breaking through late with some clutch pinch-hitting.
It wasn't the best outing of Freeland's season, but it might have been the gutsiest. Battling all afternoon with a determined Diamondbacks lineup, he needed every pitch in his arsenal to get through just over five innings, but every time he had a chance to fold, he instead rose to the moment.
The battle began right away.
Freeland got ahead of Jon Jay 1-2 but a pitch ran too far inside and plunked him in the first at-bat of the game. As almost always seems to happen when the leadoff man gets aboard by means other than a hit, he came around to score on a pair of well struck, but still perfectly placed groundball singles from Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock.