- 142 wins
- 110 wins
DENVER -- Some of the late-arriving fans in the sellout crowd at Coors Field might have missed the fireworks. No, not those after the game -- the fireworks detonated by the Rockies' bats in the first two innings.
Colorado scored seven runs in a blazing getaway that culminated in a 9-6 victory for the Rockies over the Royals -- and postgame pyrotechnics for the 49,227 fans celebrating the Independence Day weekend.
Just in case anyone might be wondering, the Rockies have a star-spangled 26-15 record in home games that feature fireworks displays. The Royals, though, are only wondering what more they can do to blast out of their five-game skid.
The Royals did show considerable muscle in the batter's box with 13 hits, including a homer in a four-hit night for Alex Gordon, pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit's three-run homer and Jeff Francoeur's RBI triple.
"Gordo had a great night with four knocks and we swung the bats better, and that helped. I mean, six runs was better than it has been, so that's a good sign," manager Ned Yost said.
In fact, the Royals' six runs matched their entire total in their previous four losses on this western swing. They had been shut out, 9-0, in Friday night's series opener by the Rockies.
"Last night was really embarrassing and the way the game started, it was 'Uh-oh, here we go again,'" Gordon said. "But at least we fought back a little bit and showed some offense, and made it a game."
Royals starter Kyle Davies, returning to the rotation from injury, did not have pleasant memories of Coors Field from his previous two exposures to mountain air as a young pitcher with the Atlanta Braves. He was treated rudely then, just as he was in this outing.
A single run in the Rockies' first was followed by six runs in the second inning. There were five hits including doubles by Seth Smith, Ty Wigginton and Mark Ellis. Davies also contributed a high throw after fielding a sacrifice bunt and that error made three of the Rockies' runs unearned.
"I just needed to get ball lower in the strike zone," Davies said. "I started throwing slow curveballs to try to get 'em off because they were coming in there hacking, and I think the first seven guys or something, it was two-three-four-pitch at-bats. I mean it was fast -- it happened fast."
Davies did manage a scoreless third inning, his last of the evening. His unpleasant outing left him with these statistics for his three appearances at Coors Field: a 0-2 record; a 16.40 ERA, and an opponents' batting average of .543 (25-for-46).
His departure led to a shining moment for the Royals. Betemit, batting for Davies in the fourth inning, slugged a three-run homer.
Betemit followed singles by Brayan Pena and Alcides Escobar with a drive into the left-field stands against Rockies right-hander Greg Reynolds, cutting the gap to 7-4.
"That's the most I've seen the dugout jump and move in about a week," Francoeur said. "We needed that."
It was the fifth pinch-homer of Betemit's career and the first for the Royals this season.
"I just had a good at-bat in that situation. I didn't try to do too much. I had been swinging too hard," Betemit said. "I just tried to put the ball in play and got a home run."
The team's previous pinch-blast was by Gordon on Aug. 8, 2010, at Seattle.
And darned if it wasn't Gordon who homered against Reynolds in the next inning, a leadoff shot over the right-field wall for an 8-5 score. The homer gave Gordon 10 this season.
Troy Tulowitzki put the Rockies into the home run picture when he led off the sixth by driving reliever Greg Holland's 3-0 pitch into the left-field seats.
The Rockies out-hit the Royals, 15-13, and their new acquisition, second baseman Ellis, had another big night with three doubles and two RBIs. That gave him five extra-base hits and a collective 6-for-10 with five ribbies in his first two Colorado games.
"If he keeps doing what he's doing, he'd be an unbelievable lift," the Rockies' Todd Helton said. "He takes a good at-bat. He looks good in the two-hole."
Included in Ellis' production on Saturday night was a two-run double in the six-run second inning that put the Royals in a hole from which they couldn't escape.
"We won the ballgame if we'd have played three through seven but you don't do that," Francoeur said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.