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Blach’s solid outing, Tovar’s homer lift Rockies past Rangers 3-1 to complete series sweep

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DENVER (AP) — Converted reliever Ty Blach pitched five solid innings in his second start this season, Ezequiel Tovar homered and the Colorado Rockies beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Sunday to complete a three-game series sweep of the reigning World Series champions.

It was the first time the Rangers, losers of four of their last five, have been swept this season. Their offense was also stifled by three double plays, two sparkling defensive plays by third baseman Ryan McMahon and a run-saving catch against the center field wall by Brenton Doyle for the final out of the fifth inning.

Doyle also drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Rockies’ final run.

The Rangers’ single run represented their lowest total in three games at Colorado and they were outscored 15-6 overall during the series.

“It’s fair to say with most of the order, you’ve got some guys that just aren’t swinging like they normally do,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “We did have some guys who did some good things. But we just couldn’t mount a good inning in three games here and that’s what surprises me more than anything.”

Bochy also said the Rockies’ defense figured prominently in the outcome.

“They made some great plays in the outfield, infield,” Bochy said. “When we did hit it pretty good, they made the plays.”

The sweep by the Rockies, who have won a season high four in a row, was their first since May 2-4, 2023, against Milwaukee. It was their only series sweep during last year’s 103-loss season.

Jalen Beeks got three outs for his third save in three chances.

Blach (1-1) allowed one run on seven hits. He gave up three singles in the first inning, including an RBI single by Adolis García, but limited the damage by inducing a double-play grounder from Nathaniel Lowe. He gave up three more singles around a double play in the fifth before Doyle crashed into the wall to snare Corey Seager’s sharply hit line drive to the fence.

In the third inning, Seager was denied another swing at the plate when McMahon chased down his foul ball, making an over-the-shoulder catch on a dead run. McMahon also ranged to his left to make a diving stop of pinch-hitter Josh Smith’s sharply hit grounder in the seventh inning before scrambling to his feet and throwing him out by half a step. “I think defense definitely won that game,” said Brendan Rodgers, the Rockies second baseman who was at the center of a pair of double plays.

He teamed with Tovar on a fifth-inning gem when the Rockies shortstop snagged Andrew Kizner’s grounder behind second base, flipped the ball to Rodgers, who made a barehanded catch and hustled a one-hop throw to first baseman Hunter Goodman, who made the scoop to complete the double play. “The plays that were made behind me, just unbelievable,” Blach said. “When you have that going for you defensively it makes it that much easier to go out there and pound the zone.”

Charlie Blackmon singled off José Ureña to start the game and Tovar followed by driving a 2-1 offering over the left field fence for his fourth home run of the season.

Ureña (1-3) allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out three and walked one.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF Evan Carter was held out of Sunday’s game because of lingering lower back stiffness. He was scratched from Saturday’s lineup due to the injury. Bochy said Carter was being held out as a precaution. “He tried to play through it and it got worse so this is why we’re trying to catch it before it gets to the point where he would be missing a while,” Bochy said.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Return home after their 5-5 road trip to open a three-game series Monday night against Cleveland with RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-2, 4.66 ERA) scheduled to start the first game. The Guardians counter with RHP Tanner Bibee (2-1, 4.91).

Rockies: Head to San Diego, where they open a three-game set Monday night against the Padres. RHP Dakota Hudson (0-6, 6.35) will be seeking his first win of the season against San Diego RHP Randy Vásquez (0-1, 4.50).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By DENNIS GEORGATOS
Associated Press

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