DENVER (AP) — Kyle Gibson pitched into the seventh inning for his first win with Texas and newly signed Derek Dietrich hit a two-out, three-run home run in the eighth as the Rangers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-4 Saturday night for their season-high fourth consecutive win.
Shinn-Soo Choo had three hits and two RBIs and Jose Trevino also had three hits for the Rangers, who ensured their third straight series win. They moved a game above .500 for the first time since a season-opening win over Colorado in Texas.
“I experienced it a little bit last year, where starting pitching brings consistency every day, but the offense brings confidence,” Gibson said of the Rangers’ recent strong play. “The offense is kind of rolling a little bit. The bullpen’s been doing a great job. The day-to-day confidence comes from scoring runs and they’ve done a good job doing it.”
Trevor Story had three hits and Tony Wolters had a two-run double for the Rockies, who have lost five of six since an 11-3 start. Charlie Blackmon broke out of an 0-11 run at the plate with an eighth inning triple, leaving his batting average at .438.
“We came in with a fire,” Wolters said. “We want to win every series, but that’s pretty hard to do. We’re up for the challenge and I feel like we’re coming together. We’re not letting these losses kind of affect us. We’re just moving on. Next day.”
Gibson (1-2), who signed with Texas in the offseason after spending the first 10 years of his career with Minnesota, went 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. He struck out two and walked one in his first career appearance against the Rockies.
Rafael Montero worked the ninth for his fifth save, allowing an unearned run after leadoff man Raimel Tapia reached on catcher’s interference.
Dietrich, who hit a career-high 19 home runs for Cincinnati last season, joined the Rangers on a minor league deal Monday after being released by the Chicago Cubs a week ago. He was signed to a major league contract Tuesday and activated by the Rangers and has been making an impact ever since.
“I think it has a lot to do with my routine and my preparation,” Dietrich said. “I prepare the same way each and every day. I did it all offseason, did it during the in between time. … The most successful hitters I’ve been around, stick to their routine and trust it.
“I’ve played baseball a long time, it’s just rolling now.”
In the eighth, he hit the first pitch he saw from Carlos Estevez, driving it the opposite way into the left field bleachers for his first homer with the Rangers.
The Rockies broke on top on Wolters’ two-run double in the second inning but the Rangers generated plenty of baserunners against German Marquez (2-3) and managed to chip away at the lead despite a Colorado defense that turned three double plays.
Choo’s RBI singles in the third and fifth innings pulled the Rangers into a 2-2 tie. Isiah Kiner-Falefa reached on a fielder’s choice for the first out in the fifth and Willie Calhoun followed by lining out to third baseman Nolan Arenado. But Arenado threw wide of first for an error trying to double up Kiner-Falefa, allowing Jose Trevino to score from third with a go-ahead run.
Marquez went six innings and allowed nine hits and three runs — two earned. He walked two and struck out three.
REFLECTIONS ON A GEM
The complete-game victory by the Rangers’ Lance Lynn on Friday was just the eighth time in the history of hitter-friendly Coors Field in which two or fewer hits were allowed over a nine-inning game. Lynn, who improved to 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA on the season, was also the first opposing pitcher to go the distance at the park and limit the Rockies to two or fewer hits without issuing a walk. “It goes to show you how overpowering his fastball really is and how much life is on it,” teammate Todd Frazier said. “It’s fun to play behind him. He works quick, he’s got energy, he’s got passion.”
Rockies: INF-OF Chris Owings missed a second consecutive game with a strained left hamstring. He left Wednesday’s game against Arizona early after sustaining the injury running out a groundout.
Rangers: LHP Kolby Allard (0-0, 1.00 ERA) is pitching off a career-high seven days between starts. He allowed two hits in five scoreless innings in his last outing against the Los Angeles Angels. Left-handed hitters are 0-5 with five strikeouts against him this season.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (0-2, 6.41 ERA) was roughed up in his last outing against Arizona, giving up eight runs on 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings. But he has had success in interleague play, especially at Coors Field, where he’s 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA in six career games against AL teams.
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