DENVER (AP) — D.J. LeMahieu’s two-run single broke a tie in a six-run eighth inning, sending the Colorado Rockies to a 10-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
LeMahieu finished with three hits, including an RBI double in the sixth that tied the game at 4.
Colorado broke open the game in the eighth with its biggest inning this season. Justin Morneau started the rally with a single off Scott Downs (0-2). The Rockies sent 10 batters to the plate, with LeMahieu coming up with a big hit to center. Pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge and Michael Cuddyer added run-scoring singles, while Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run double down the line.
Rex Brothers (1-0), who got two outs in the eighth as the Rockies took two of three in the series from the White Sox.
Chicago lost right fielder Avisail Garcia after he jammed his left shoulder diving for LeMahieu’s low liner in the sixth. The teams said X-rays were negative for a fracture or a separation.
Conor Gillaspie had a two-run single for Chicago in the fifth. Tyler Flowers and Adam Eaton also drove in runs with RBI singles.
Starter Erik Johnson surrendered a run in each of the first three innings, but then settled into a groove.
Leading 4-3 in the sixth, Johnson found himself in trouble when Morneau led off with a double and hustled to third after left fielder Dayan Viciedo bobbled the ball on the warning track. Johnson retired the next two hitters before LeMahieu lined a ball at Garcia.
Garcia briefly caught the sinking liner, but the ball appeared to pop out of his glove once he landed, allowing Morneau to trot home.
Juan Nicasio struggled with his control, throwing 95 pitches in five innings while allowing four runs and eight hits.
After struggling in the first two weeks of the season, Jose Abreu heated up at hitter-friendly Coors Field, where he almost wound up.
Abreu was 2 for 4 with a double on Wednesday. He had four hits in the series, including his first two homers of the season. The Rockies made a strong push to obtain the Cuban slugger in October before he signed a $68 million, six-year contract with Chicago.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Abreu was as good as advertised: “All the reports were this guy is a legitimate middle of the order bat. I think we saw that.”
Before the game, the Rockies recalled Rutledge from Triple-A Colorado Springs, giving the team a backup for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who has been bothered by tightness in his right quadriceps. Weiss gave Tulowitzki the day off just so he’s not “run into the ground this early.”
To make room on the roster, Colorado optioned struggling right-handed reliever Wilton Lopez to Colorado Springs. Lopez has an 11.37 ERA in four games.
NOTES: The White Sox open a seven-game homestand on Thursday against Cleveland, with LHP John Danks (0-0) slated to take the mound. … The Rockies have their first day off of the season Thursday before opening a three-game series in San Francisco. … Weiss is hoping RHP Tyler Chatwood (hamstring) will be ready to rejoin the rotation on Sunday when he’s eligible to come off the DL.
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