LEADING OFF: Rockies-Twins in surprising 1st-place matchup


LEADING OFF: Rockies-Twins in surprising 1st-place matchup

The Rockies opened up the series on Tuesday with a 7-3 victory on the road. Kyle Freeland wasn't stellar for Colorado, allowing three runs and four walks in six innings, but it was enough to get his team a win.

Third base coach Stu Cole #39 of the Colorado Rockies congratulates Charlie Blackmon #19 on a two-run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the sixth inning of the game on May 16, 2017 at Target Field.

While Blackmon led the way offensively, Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra each had solid nights for Colorado. Greg Holland recorded his 17th save in 17 chances after Minnesota put two runners on in the ninth against Chris Rusin. Hughes, who permitted five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, allowed four earned runs for the fourth time in his last six starts - with six homers given up in that stretch.

"I kind of had to rely on just cutters and four-seamers, really", Hughes said. Freeland is one of three rookie members of that rotation. "We don't worry about the opposition. We worry about playing good baseball".

The Rockies haven't had a winning record on the road since 2009 and went 33-48 away from Coors Field last season. The Twins now turn to Santana to shut down the Rockies, which I think he can do.

Freeland managed his way through trouble as Minnesota left five runners on in the first four innings and went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

That home run was also only the second allowed by Freeland in eight starts and the first since his second start of the year - a span of 36 innings without a homer.

With the game knotted at 3-3, Colorado scored four times in the sixth off Twins starter Phil Hughes and reliever Tyler Duffey. Desmond had a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored. Colorado C Dustin Garneau was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday to make room on the 25-man roster for catcher Tony Wolters, who was reinstated from the disabled list. An RBI groundout by Wolters and a bloop single down the left-field line by Blackmon quickly put the Rockies up 2-0. His.346 average this season is tied for fourth among major league catchers with at least 15 games played. He has two starts of 14 innings of scoreless ball, but he also has two starts that combined for 10 innings and allowed 13 earned runs.