DENVER (AP) — Kyle Freeland pitched six innings of two-hit ball and was backed by the superb defense of Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 6-1 on Saturday night.
Freeland (2-0) allowed a two-out single to Tommy Pham in the first and then retired 13 in a row before Francisco Mejia’s double in the sixth. The left-hander struck out four and walked one in throwing an economical 83 pitches.
It marked the 10th time in his career that Freeland has gone six or more innings and allowed no runs.
The Denver native rediscovered his form over the offseason by retooling his mechanics. He eliminated the pause in his delivery and added an improved changeup.
Through two starts, Freeland’s looking more like the 2018 version of himself — the one who finished fourth in the NL Cy Young race — than the ’19 rendition when he went 3-11 with a 6.73 ERA.
Freeland certainly had plenty of defensive support. Story made a diving catch in the fourth that had Freeland raising his arms in appreciation. In the sixth, the Rockies shortstop thwarted a big inning by stopping a grounder headed up the middle and starting a double play.
Story contributed at the plate as well with a solo shot in the fourth. It was his second straight game with a homer.
Arenado showed off his glove, too. The third baseman who’s won seven straight Gold Gloves made a running, over-the-shoulder, sliding catch in deep foul territory.
Arenado had another diving stop in the seventh.
Matt Kemp hit a solo homer in the third, his first since signing with the Rockies on July 4. He’s hitting .327 with 22 homers over his career at Coors Field.
Padres lefty Joey Lucchesi (0-1) had a forgettable outing in going 1 2/3 innings and giving up three runs.
Trent Grisham homered to center in the eighth off Rockies reliever Yency Almonte.
The Padres had scored at least three runs in each of their first eight games for the second time in franchise history
RELIEF, PART I
Rockies manager Bud Black was giving closer Wade Davis the night off after he surrendered four runs on a pair of two-out homers in the ninth Friday. Davis still has a tenuous hold on the job.
“We’ll see where this goes,” Black said.
RELIEF, PART II
An All-Star in 2019, Padres closer Kirby Yates has struggled with his command so far this season. He walked two batters in an inning during two of his three appearances. He did that on three occasions all last season.
“It’s not a confidence thing,” Yates said. “I still know who I am.”