Antonio Senzatela’s stellar start lifts Rockies over Padres to win series at Coors Field

Simple math: A combined 2.00 ERA by their starting pitchers has laid the foundation for the Rockies’ 6-2 start to the sprint that is the 2020 season.

Right-hander Antonio Senzatela became the latest member of the rotation to confound the opposition. Deftly mixing his pitches — and fooling batters with a nasty curveball — Senzatela allowed one run over six innings in Colorado’s 9-6 victory over San Diego Sunday afternoon at Coors Field.

The Rockies’ 6-2 record is tied for the second-best start in franchise history (2011, 2015), topped only by the 1995 club’s 7-1 start.

“I think it was about (Senzatela’s) mix of pitches,” manager Bud Black said. “All of our guys are showing a change of speeds, in and out, up and down. They are pitching.”

Black emphasized the word pitching.

“I really see this as these four guys are pitching. They are not throwing, they are pitching,” Black continued, adding that catcher Tony Wolters and Drew Butera have called excellent games.

Colorado has utilized four starters thus far (German Marquez, Jon Gray, lefty Kyle Freeland and Senzatela), with right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez scheduled to make his first start Monday night against San Francisco at Coors Field.

Senzatela (2-0, 2.45 ERA) fanned six and walked just one. He was stressed in just one inning, the sixth, when San Diego’s Jake Cronenworth led off with a triple and scored on Manny Machado’s two-out double. Senzatela needed only 86 pitches (57 strikes) to maneuver through his outing.

“My fastball command today was good but my curve was better,” said Senzatela, who had just two starts last year in which he struck out six or more. “The strikeouts were really important to me because I tried to put the guys away, but on (fewer) pitches. That’s a huge part of the game for me right now because it limits the guys on base.”

Black, who does not fire off compliments to pitchers frequently, is clearly pleased with how his rotation has fared.

“They are setting a great tone,” Black said. “They are doing a fabulous job (throwing) first-pitch strikes and working aggressively. All of the things you look for.”

The Rockies mashed three home runs: a solo liner that eeked over the right-field wall by Daniel Murphy in the second; a two-run blast down the left-field line by Matt Kemp in the fourth; and a two-run homer to dead center by Ryan McMahon in the sixth.

The Rockies cranked out 12 hits and Murphy tied his career-high with four hits, the 22nd time in his career he’s done that.

The weak link for the Rockies was their bullpen. Lefty James Pazos let San Diego back in the game in the eighth, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk. He left the bases full for Carlos Estevez, who was ripped for a three-run triple off the right-field wall by Wil Myers.

San Diego added another run off Estevez in the ninth before Jairo Diaz came in to throw just one pitch to Manny Machado, who popped out to right to end the game.


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