DENVER, Colo. (AP) — C.J. Cron hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and finished with a career-best seven RBIs as the Colorado Rockies beat the Miami Marlins, 13-8, on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Colorado hit 11 homers in outscoring the Marlins 34-14 over the three games. Cron also hit two in Friday’s 14-2 win. “It’s pretty cool, the roll we’re on,” said Cron, who had 13 RBI in the series to match the team record for the most in a three-game set. Larry Walker had 13 RBI in three games against St. Louis in 1999.
“I think this homestand and definitely this last series has been the best we’ve played all season,” added Cron. “We’re hitting the cover off the ball. I think we’re finally starting to figure some stuff out. It’s been awesome to see.”
The Rockies went 5-1 in their six-game homestand, outscoring the Chicago Cubs and Marlins 55-27 while hitting 17 home runs in a surge that reinforced Coors’ Field’s reputation as a home run haven.
“When teams come in here, it’s sort of a double-edged sword,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The opponent’s offense, they like to come here to hit. Pitchers on the opposing side have nightmares and you can see that in how they pitch. And we have to use that because it’s real.”
“The guys played well. They kept fighting,” Miami bench coach and acting manager James Rowson said. “We didn’t win it. It was a tough series in Colorado. It was challenging, but that’s part of the game. Tomorrow’s game is coming. We’re going to have to rebound, go out there and try to forget this one and get to the next one.”
Kyle Freeland (3-6) got the win, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings.
David Hess (2-2) opened in a planned bullpen game for the Marlins but left with none out in the second inning after allowing seven runs on six hits, including Cron’s three-run homer. Nunez added a two-run homer in the second and Joe, batting for Raimel Tapia, hit another two-run homer to chase Hess.
Cron’s grand slam came in the fourth. Ryan McMahon reached on a fielder’s choice, Trevor Story singled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and Charlie Blackmon walked to load the bases with two outs. Cron followed with a drive into the left-field bleachers off Sean Guenther for an 11-1 lead.
It was Cron’s 18th homer and third grand slam of the season. He became the first Rockies player in team history with three slams in a season.
Miguel Rojas was ejected in the third inning after confronting first-base umpire Mark Carlson, who ruled Rojas had gone around on a check-swing third strike. Bench coach and acting manager James Rowson hustled over to get between Rojas and Carlson and Rojas walked off the field to the clubhouse.
Marlins: 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr. was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of illness. Joe Panik replaced Chisholm in the lineup. … LF Jorge Alfarao was lifted for pinch-hitter Magneuris Sierra during his third-inning at-bat after Alfarao became short of breath. Sierra inherited a 2-2 count and popped out in foul territory.
Rockies: 2B Brendan Rodgers was not in the starting lineup a day after suffering a bruised right hand when he was hit by a pitch. Manager Bud Black said after Saturday’s night game that X-rays were negative and that Rodgers started to feel better but was dealing with soreness. … Tapia was scratched because of soreness from a lingering right big toe injury.
Marlins: Rookie RHP Zach Thomas (2-4, 2.53 ERA) will start at San Diego on Monday night against Joe Musgrove (7-7, 2.87). Thomas will be going for his first road win in his 10th major-league start.
What national writer thinks is one thing to make or break 2022 Miami football team
The Miami football team is ranked 25th in the way too early 247 sports 2022 rankings. There will be a lot of projections about the 2022 season with Mario Cristobal in his inaugural season with Miami. Cristobal still has to hire most of his staff six weeks after being introduced as the Hurricanes’ new head coach.
A lot of the optimism about the first season under Cristobal relates to the return of quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. Van Dyke was named the 2021 ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Over the last six games of the season, Van Dyke threw for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each game.
Van Dyke’s accomplishments in 2021 were impressive in only nine starts. When he was hired Cristobal said about Van Dyke “there is not a better QB in the country.” Van Dyke enters the 2022 season without his top two wide receivers, Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley. Harley and Rambo both set Miami records in 2021.
Rambo set the Miami single-season record for receptions and receiving yards. Harley set the single-game and career Miami reception record. Xavier Restrepo and Keyshawn Smith are Miami’s two leading returning WRs in 2022. Sam Marsdale of 247 Sports projects the one thing that can make or break Miami in 2022.
25. Miami Hurricanes: Tyler Van Dyke avoiding a regression
“Van Dyke burst onto the scene this season after barely playing in 2020. The Connecticut native and former four-star recruit in the 2020 class completed 62.3% of his passes for 2,931 yards and 25 touchdowns against just six interceptions in 10 games.
Now, as the main guy and with defenses having plenty of tape on him, avoiding the regression we’ve seen from several quarterbacks in this situation is key.”
The offensive coordinator hire for Cristobal will be critical for the continued development of Van Dyke. Van Dyke thrived under former OC Rhett Lashlee. The Miami football team has a lot of talent at WR for Van Dyke to work with. All of the Miami WRs are stepping into bigger roles in 2022.
The three amigos 2021 signees Romello Brinson, Jacolby George and Breshard Smith plus recently signed Clemson transfer Frank Ladson and Restrepo and Keyshawn Smith provide Van Dyke with a deep WR corps. Michael Redding III and Daz Worsham also return for Miami at WR. New WR coach Bryan McClendon has a talented group.
Van Dyke will also have to adjust to how defenses scheme for him in 2022. The positive for Miami could be the new system they will play under their new offensive coordinator. Van Dyke should continue to develop and improve entering his second season as the starter. The Miami football team won five of last six games in 2021.
‘Big Game’ Bobrovsky gets second Florida Panthers shutout
In his previous two starts, Sergei Bobrovsky had the opportunity to pick up his first shutout since his first season with the Florida Panthers only to see them disappear early in the third period.
Bobrovsky was not giving anything up Thursday night in Edmonton.
Bobrovsky was flat out fantastic against the Oilers, stopping all 40 shots he faced in Florida’s 6-0 win at Rogers Place.
It was Bobrovsky’s first shutout since stopping 22 against Detroit way back on Nov. 2, 2019.
That came in his 12th game with the Panthers.
It took him 87 games to get another.
Make no mistake: ‘Big Game Bob’ was back on Thursday night.
“We came out a little slow but Bob was dialed in from the start and he made huge saves for us all night long,’’ said Carter Verhaeghe, who made it a 2-0 game in the second.
“He kept us in the game and we finally got our feet under us and started to play a little better. … He was the best player on the ice, by far. He made some unbelievable saves. … The game could have gone a lot different.”
Coach Andrew Brunette could only chuckle when recalling that opening period.
“Bob definitely gave us the chance to find our legs,’’ he said, “and we are very grateful for that because they barnstormed us there early.”
Bobrovsky was locked in from the get — and he had to be.
Edmonton, which had lost 12 of 14 coming in, looked every bit the desperate team Florida was warned it would be.
Florida was dominated on both ends of the ice for much of the first period but it was scoreless after 1.
The Panthers survived the best the Oilers had to offer.
”I thought the opponent came with the strong start,’’ Bobrovsky said. “They were pretty fast and are a good team. But when we’re together, the guys had timely blocked shots and helped a lot in the d-zone. It was a great six-person effort in the first and all game long. It was definitely fun to be part of it.”
Bobrovsky was sort of nonchalant about the shutout that night against Detroit and, well, he had reason to.
The Red Wings were basically an AHL team that night and those 22 shots did not offer much of a challenge.
”Defensively, they kept the puck to the outside and made my job easy,” Bobrovsky said that night. “All the ingredients were there for us.”
Bobrovsky never could have imagined it would take this long to get another shutout.
Not after he got nine in his final season with Columbus before signing with the Panthers.
Last week, he had one going into the third against Dallas but the Stars scored in the opening minute.
Saturday, Columbus got him early in the third as well.
Thursday? No chance.
”Of course,” Bobrovsky said when asked about feeling good about a shutout, No. 35 by the way.
“But it’s more important for the game, the element, being the focus. Do the right things and the results will come. I am definitely happy with the result, happy with the shutout.”
Brunette was obviously not happy with Florida’s start but the team woke up and got rolling.
“I did not like our start at all,” Brunette said. “We knew we were coming into a desperate situation and hand it to them; they played really well in that first period. We weren’t sharp, but it was more of what they were doing.”
Sasha Barkov scored Florida’s first on a nice pass from Sam Reinhart on the power play at 5:28 of the second with Verhaeghe making it 2-0 on the team’s next shot.
Barkov got his second with 12:47 left to all but end it.
The Panthers kept coming, scoring three more: Anthony Duclair, Sam Bennett and Owen Tippett also scored in the final five minutes of the game.
Now, the roadie moves to Vancouver where the Canucks will be without a top forward and their starting goalie due to Covid.
SWAGGY LOVES EDMONTON
The last time Verhaeghe was in Rogers Place, he and the Tampa Bay Lightning were taking care of the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup bubble.
Verhaeghe ended up signing with the Panthers as a free agent a few weeks later.
“Yeah, the last time I was here I really enjoyed it,” Verhaeghe said. “Some good memories here. At the hotel, too. I enjoyed (Thursday) as well.”
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida
2. Sasha Barkov, Florida
3. Sam Reinhart, Florida
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Recap: Panthers bounce back with big 6-0 win over Oilers
Sergei Bobrovsky made 40 saves for his first shutout of the season, and second in a Florida Panthers uniform, as the Cats bounced back from a disappointing outing in Calgary with a 6-0 win over the reeling Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place.
Bobrovsky was at his best in the first period, when he stopped all 17 shots, including a dandy on Jesse Puljujarvi with time running out, as the Oilers vastly outplayed the Panthers, but were forced to head to the dressing room mired in a scoreless tie.
Aleksander Barkov ignited Florida’s offense with a power-play goal 5:28 into second. Jonathan Huberdeau went down low to Sam Reinhart, whose aerial cross came down on Barkov’s blade and he deftly knocked the puck just inside the near post past Mikko Koskinen.
Reinhart would deliver another fine primary 2:39 later. This time, while behind the net, Samson spotted Carter Verhaeghe alone in the left circle. Verhaeghe had all kinds of time to load up and zipped a wrister home to put the Cats up by a deuce. The secondary assist went to Brandon Montour, who activated from the point to help out down low.
Barkov’s second of the night, 7:13 into the final frame, would take the wind of Edmonton’s sails. Radko Gudas won a puck battle in his own end and carried back up the ice before springing Barkov with a crisp pass. The captain cut between two Oilers before solving Koskinen from the high slot.
The Panthers power play would click twice more in a span of 74 seconds late in the period with Anthony Duclair knocking in a loose puck, assists to Barkov and Reinhart, at 15:40, and Sam Bennett slinging a backhander by Koskinen’s glove, from Owen Tippett and Anton Lundell, at the 16:54 mark to put the game away.
Tippett would drive a shot in after taking a return pass from Maxim Mamin to complete the scoring at 18:16. Both players were inserted into the lineup to replace Patric Hornqvist and Frank Vatrano.
Hats off to the Panthers who not only shook off a lackluster loss to the Flames, but also turned things around after a poor opening period. Ex-Cat Colton Sceviour’s cross-checking minor opened the door and Barkov and Co. walked right through it to take control of the game and then made it a rout with three goals late in the third. The Panthers get right back at it tonight with a stop in Vancouver. I’m curious to see if Andrew Brunette, goes back-to-back with Bobrovsky, like he did last weekend, or if Spencer Knight gets the call.
Pressure & Viscosity
- The Panthers are a now a perfect 20-0 when leading after the second period. They top the NHL with 165 goals, which marks the most-ever in franchise history through the 40-game mark.
- Sergei Bobrovsky posted his 20th win of the season and 35th career shutout. It was his first whitewashing since he blanked the Detroit Red Wings on November 2, 2019. Bobrovsky is 8-0-1 in his last nine starts.
- Florida went 3 for 5 with the man advantage and killed off all three Edmonton power plays.
- The Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were limited to three shots on goal apiece. Jesse Puljujarvi and Darnell Nurse each registered a game-high five shots.
- Aleksander Barkov, Sam Bennett and Anthony Duclair share the team lead in goals with 17. The already boast seven double-digit scorers with more to come..
- Visit Copper and Blue for the other side of Florida’s sixth road win of 2021-22.
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