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Gomber wins in return from injured list as Rockies topple Mariners

Austin Gomber missed more than a month with an injured left forearm, but he showed few signs of rust on Wednesday, allowing only three hits in six innings of work. Oddly, each of those three hits were solo home runs by the visiting Seattle Mariners. But thanks to a five-run first inning driven by catcher Dom Nunez’s bases-loaded double, the three runs Gomber allowed didn’t do more than dent the Rockies’ lead.

“A little bit excited, but I felt I was able to stay within myself and give the team a chance to win, eat up some innings and keep the pitch count down,” Gomber said. “I executed pitches just like I did before I went on the IL, just not at as consistent a clip. But I was able to make the pitch to get the outs.”

The Rockies, at 9-34 (.209) are, by far, baseball’s worst road team, and with a 10-game trip on the docket that starts in Los Angeles against a Dodgers team that’s beaten Colorado in eight of their 10 games this season, Gomber realized the value in leaving Coors Field on a high.

“It was good to get a win on the last day here before we head out on a long road trip,” the pitcher said.

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NEXT UP: Rockies (42-54, 4th in NL West) at Dodgers (59-38, 2nd in NL West) | Friday, Jul. 23 at 8:10 p.m. | COL: Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-6, 5.99 ERA) vs. LAD: David Price (4-0, 3.12 ERA)

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NOTES

• Dom Nunez paved the way for the Rockies early, delivering a two-out, three-run double in the bottom of the first that gave the Rockies all the runs they’d need. “Coming to the plate that first inning, I was trying to get a good pitch up — something I could handle and drive,” Nunez explained. “Sure enough, I got it, put a good swing on it, and good things happened.”

• C.J. Cron drew two walks on Wednesday, including one with the bases loaded. Cron, who’s only hitting .246 but provides power, could become a trade target before the July 30 deadline.

• Daniel Bard pitched a perfect ninth-inning to pick up his 15th save of the season. Bard, 36, will certainly draw interest at the trade deadline approaches. Last year’s Comeback Player of the Year will be a free agent after the season.

• The Rockies are 33-20 (.623) at home this season, but 20-8 (.714) since May 21; the best home record in the National League over that span.

• Colorado has signed 20 of its 21 draft picks, including first-round OF Benny Montgomery, second-round SP Jaden Hill and compensatory pick SP Joe Rock.

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THE FINAL WORD

“I know his command wasn’t as good as he wanted it to be. But he got the win, and that’s what’s important. Things are going to sharpen up. He’s been really good this year, and his track record so far has shown that he’s just going to get better as it goes along.” — Catcher Dom Nunez, on starting pitcher Austin Gomber, who earned his seventh win of the season on Wednesday.

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STARTING LINEUP

LF Raimel Tapia
2B Brendan Rodgers
RF Charlie Blackmon
SS Trevor Story
3B Ryan McMahon
1B C.J. Cron
CF Sam Hilliard
C Dom Nunez
SP Austin Gomber

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INJURY WATCH

• Chris Owings (left thumb) was placed on the 10-day IL on July 20. This is the second time this season that Owings has injured the same finger.
• Bud Black (COVID-19 protocols) was placed on the COVID-19 contact tracing ineligible list on July 16.
• Yency Almonte (COVID-19 protocols) was placed on the COVID-ineligible list on July 16.
• Yonathan Daza (COVID-19 protocols) was placed on the COVID-ineligible list on July 16.
• Jhoulys Chacin (COVID-19 protocols) was placed on the COVID-ineligible list on July 16.
• Antonio Senzatela (COVID-19 protocols) was placed on the COVID-ineligible list on July 16.
• Robert Stephenson (strained upper back) was placed on the 10-day IL on Jun. 28.
• Jordan Sheffield (torn right lat) was injured on Jun. 3 and was placed on the 10-day IL. He is expected to miss at least two months.
• Scott Oberg (blood clots) had surgery prior to the end of Spring Training. He was placed on the 60-day IL on Mar. 27 and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

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Shawn Drotar is the host of “The Fan Late Night with Shawn Drotar;” weeknights from 10:00 p.m. to midnight — only on 104.3 The Fan