PITCH­ING FAL­TERS LATE; ROCK­IES LOSE, 6-3

MAR­LINS 6, ROCK­IES 3

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Saun­ders

MI­AMI» Some Rock­ies play­ers went deep-sea fish­ing here Thurs­day on their day off.

Fri­day night, they let a big one get away.

Mi­ami ral­lied to beat the Rock­ies 6-3 at Mar­lins Park, spoil­ing a mile­stone night for Nolan Are­nado and de­rail­ing Colorado’s chance to gain some ground in the Na­tional League wild-card race.

Re­liever Jake McGee, mak­ing his sec­ond ap­pear­ance since com­ing off the dis­abled list, got roasted in the Mar­lins’ game-turn­ing eighth in­ning, giv­ing up three runs in one-third of an in­ning. Mi­ami’s rally in­cluded an RBI sin­gle by Derek Di­et­rich and a two-run triple by To­mas Telis. McGee, not as sharp has he has been most of the sea­son, also walked Mar­cell Ozuna, much to the con­ster­na­tion of man­ager Bud Black.

“I was just a lit­tle off tonight, and when I needed to make a few pitches, I left some over the mid­dle of the plate,” said McGee, now 0-2 with a 3.77 ERA. “I had a few chances to get out of it. I thought I had Deitrich there, but he got a lit­tle bloop hit. And then Ozuna had a re­ally good at-bat, and dragged it on a lit­tle bit. But at the end of the day I just have to (have) a lit­tle bit bet­ter lo­ca­tion with my pitches.”

Although the loss landed on McGee’s shoul­ders, starter Jon Gray shared the bur­den. The game pre­sented the right-han­der with an op­por­tu­nity to take com­mand and shut down the Mar­lins in ace-like fash­ion. He was un­able to. Gray was spot­ted leads of 2-0 and 3-1, but he couldn’t hold them.

Gray did pull off a nice high­wire act in the fifth, com­ing away with just a sin­gle run against him as Colorado held on to a 2-1 lead. Back-to-back, no-out sin­gles by Di­et­rich and Telis set up a pos­si­ble big in­ning. But Gray coaxed a ground­ball dou­ble play out of Miguel Rojas as Deitrich scored from third. The act was com­plete when Mi­ami starter Jose Urena grounded out to Are­nado.

But Gray couldn’t re­peat the

feat in the sixth and Mi­ami tied the game 3-3. Gian­carlo Stan­ton un­loaded with his 40th homer of the sea­son, a 433-foot rocket to left. Since July 5, Stan­ton has hit 19 homers. San Fran­cisco, as a team, has 20 home runs over that same span.

Gray seemed to lose fo­cus af­ter Stan­ton’s bomb, walk­ing two and giv­ing up a dou­ble to Chris­tian Yelich, who ad­vanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on J.T. Real­muto’s sac­ri­fice fly to deep cen­ter. Gray gave up three runs on eight hits with four strike­outs over 5M in­nings.

Both Gray and Black dis­agreed with the idea that Gray’s con­cen­tra­tion wa­vered.

“That’s a ques­tion for Jon, but I think I know the an­swer,” Black said.

Said Gray: “No, I didn’t (lose fo­cus). I think I just ex­panded too much. I should have gone right af­ter guys. Note to self: ‘It can’t hap­pen again.’ ”

Black, how­ever, did have an­other ex­pla­na­tion for Gray’s in­abil­ity to shut down the Mar­lins.

“I think that what got to Jon was too many balls up as the game went on,” Black said. “Stan­ton’s homer — up. And the other runs they got off him in the sixth, the ball was up.”

Are­nado be­came the first player in the ma­jors to rack up 100 RBIs this sea­son when he blasted a tworun homer to right-cen­ter in the third, scor­ing Char­lie Black­mon, who led off with a dou­ble to right.

The statis­tics don’t stop there, nor does the his­tory. With run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, the Gold Glove third base­man is bat­ting an MLB-best .446 (50-for-112) and has hit 13 dou­bles, three triples and 10 homers. Plus, he be­came the first Na­tional League player to reach 100 RBIs for three con­sec­u­tive sea­sons since Pitts­burgh’s Wil­lie Stargell did it from 1971-73.

“He’s hav­ing a great year, and for sure he’s one of the best play­ers in the game,” Black said. “And he’s do­ing it ev­ery day. This guy has come into his own as a player, and has im­proved of­fen­sively to the point that he’s at the point now that he’s one of the most dan­ger­ous hit­ters in the game.”

Ger­ardo Parra, who’s hit­ting .400 since com­ing off the dis­abled list July 7, cranked his ninth homer of the sea­son to lead off the sixth, to make it a 3-1 Rock­ies lead.

The Rock­ies lost for just the fourth time this sea­son when they hit two or more homers. They are now 35-4 in such games, still the best mark in the ma­jors.

Wil­fredo Lee, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Rock­ies sec­ond base­man DJ LeMahieu tags out the Mar­lins’ Mar­cell Ozuna in Mi­ami on Fri­day night.

Eric Es­pada, Getty Images

Colorado third base­man Nolan Are­nado hits a two-run homer to right-cen­ter Fri­day night against Mi­ami to be­come the first player in the ma­jors to rack up 100 RBIs this sea­son.

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