Desmond homers twice as Rockies rally for 9-5 win at Rangers

Colorado Rockies' Ian Desmond connects for a home run off Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Moore during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 15, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Ian Desmond, Trevor Story and Colorado starter Chad Bettis each had quite a return to Texas in a record comeback for the Rockies.

Playing his first game in Texas since being an All-Star center fielder in his only season for the Rangers, Desmond homered twice. Story had a pair of RBI hits in his first big league game at home and fellow Texas native Bettis overcame a tough first inning as the Rockies won 9-5 in the opener of an interleague series Friday night.

”Lot of emotion,” said Desmond, who went to Colorado in free agency after playing for Texas in 2016. ”Good time to have a good game.”

Desmond, a converted shortstop and now the primary first baseman for the Rockies, homered leading off the second inning. That ignited a six-run outburst after Bettis (5-1) allowed two-run homers to Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo in a five-run Texas first.

The Rangers didn’t score again against Bettis, who made it 5 2/3 innings – or any of the three Rockies relievers.

”For them to get six there right after I had given up five was huge,” said Bettis, who is from Lubbock and pitched at Texas Tech. ”I needed to go out there and show these guys thanks for picking me up.”

The last time the Rockies won after trailing by five runs after the first inning was against Atlanta on Sept. 24, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They had never had such a comeback on the road until Friday night.

”Yeah, it was (surprising). I felt like our guys there in the first, the approach was solid,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ”They were getting some pitches to hit. In the second, we grounded into a double play when we had a run-scoring opportunity. … I felt like that once Colorado got the six runs, an experienced pitcher settled in and started making some pitches.”

Texas has a seven-game losing streak, its longest of the season. The Rockies had lost five of their previous six.

Story grew up about 15 minutes away from the Rangers’ ballpark before he was the 45th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Rockies out of Irving High School. The shortstop, who still lives in the area in the offseason, leads the National League with 52 RBIs.

After Desmond’s homer in the second off Yohander Mendez (0-1), the lefty making his first big league start, D.J. LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon had consecutive RBI singles before Nolan Arenado snapped a career-worst 0-for-19 slump with a two-run double. Story then had the tiebreaking RBI single.

”Yeah, it was special. I grew up loving the Rangers, so coming here I’ve always dreamed of playing in this stadium,” Story said. ”It was kind of surreal at first and I was a little nervous at first. Those kind of went away pretty quick.”

ROCKIES GOING DEEP

Arenado led off the ninth with his 13th homer. … Desmond’s second homer, in the fifth, was his 14th of the season for his fifth career multihomer game. … Desmond was only 10th Rockies player with a multihomer game in an interleague road game, the first since Blackmon at Yankee Stadium in 2016. … Desmond is the first Rockies player to homer twice at Texas.

BIG INNING

The six-run second was the highest scoring inning this season for Colorado, and the most in an American League ballpark since eight in the 10th inning of a game at Detroit on June 15, 2012.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: RHP Carlos Estevez, who has been out all season with a left oblique and elbow strain, threw a bullpen session. Manager Bud Black said he threw all of his pitched at a high-level intensity and is ”really gaining momentum.”

Rangers: Carlos Perez, starting in place of Chirinos, rolled his right ankle extending to catch a ball in the top of the second inning. Jose Trevino, recalled from Double-A Frisco, made his big league when he batted for Perez in the bottom of the inning and then stayed in the game as the catcher. … RF Nomar Mazara was a late scratch from the lineup because of left wrist soreness. … Right-handed relievers Matt Bush (right elbow strain) and Chris Martin (right calf strain) were put on the 10-day DL.

UP NEXT

Lefty Kyle Freeland (6-6), the Denver native who was 4-0 in interleague starts as a rookie last season, takes the mound for the Rockies in the first of consecutive day games to close out the interleague series. Rangers left-hander Mike Minor (4-4) is working on extended six days of rest after Texas had two off days during the week.

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