Germán Márquez pitched six effective innings and a beleaguered Colorado bullpen led by Daniel Bard held on to help the Rockies avoid a three-game sweep with a 3-1 win over the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
Márquez (4-5) saw the leadoff hitter reach in four of his frames. He limited the damage to just a run courtesy of six strikeouts and nine groundball outs.
The shaky Rockies bullpen entered with the second-worst ERA in the league, but bottled up the Athletics after Márquez was lifted for a pinch-hitter. Mychal Givens escaped trouble in the seventh and Bard went two innings to earn his seventh save in 10 chances.
The hard-throwing Márquez improved to 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA against Oakland.
Raimel Tapia provided the early offense with a two-out RBI single in the third and Brendan Rodgers brought in another on a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Dom Nuñez added an insurance run in the eighth on a sac fly.
James Kaprielian (2-1) went five solid innings in his first time facing Colorado. He allowed two runs, walked three and struck out six.
It was a rare off day at the plate for the Athletics during their 4-2 trip. They were 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
Over their six-game road stretch, the A's hit .297 with seven homers and 39 runs scored. Sean Murphy provided the offense Sunday with an RBI double in the sixth.
The turning point was the seventh when the A's had runners on the corners and one out. Givens struck out Mark Canha and Tony Kemp to keep it a 2-1 game.
Rockies: SS Trevor Story (right elbow) ran the bases before the game. He’s slated to be activated from the injured list on Tuesday. ... RHP Jon Gray (right flexor strain) reported less soreness and will accompany the team on its trip. "We feel good about where Jon is," manager Bud Black said.
HITTIN' THE ROAD
The Rockies will be on the road for six games. They're an MLB-worst 4-22 away from Coors Field and have been outscored by a 131-63 margin. Colorado also has been shut out 10 times on the road this season.
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon started the fourth with a single up the middle. It was hit No. 1,360 for Blackmon, moving him one away from tying Larry Walker for second on the team’s all-time list.
Todd Helton holds the Rockies record with 2,519 hits.
Athletics: Begin a nine-game homestand Tuesday against Arizona. Righty Chris Bassitt (5-2, 3.53 ERA) will go for the Athletics and righty Jon Duplantier (0-1, 9.35) for the Diamondbacks.
Rockies: After an off day, the Rockies begin a three-game series at Miami on Tuesday. Right-hander Antonio Senzatela (2-5, 4.47) will make his fourth road start.