Santana, with his MLB-leading 1.50 ERA, gave up five earned in 7 innings
MINNEAPOLIS — Nolan Arenado got Colorado going with a first-inning home run, Mark Reynolds added a two-run single and the road-tough Rockies beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 on Thursday in the first game of a doubleheader.
German Marquez (2-2) dodged trouble over five innings to limit the damage to a sacrifice fly by Brian Dozier, and the Rockies raised their record in away games to 13-5, the best mark in the major leagues.
Greg Holland struck out Dozier to end the game for his franchise-record 18th consecutive save to start the season, after entering with runners at first and second.
Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond drove in runs against Twins starter Ervin Santana (6-2), who took the mound with the major league lead in ERA (1.50). Santana finished seven innings for the fifth time in nine tries, but two of the four walks he issued scored. He gave up six hits and all five runs. Eleven of the 14 runs that Santana has allowed this year have come in his last two home appearances.
Santana was one strike from finishing a perfect first inning before Arenado belted a full-count fastball into the second deck above left field for his 10th homer. Arenado is 16 for 31 with five doubles, four home runs, three walks and 13 RBI in the first inning this season.
Marquez needed 101 pitches to finish five innings, but the end result was an encouraging follow-up to his eight-inning, three-hit, no-run outing at home. One of three rookies currently in the rotation, Marquez stretched his scoreless streak to 15 straight innings until a triple by Eddie Rosario led to the only run. He got slugger Miguel Sano to pop out with runners at first and second to end the fifth inning.
The rainout Wednesday night forced the day-night, split-admission doubleheader Thursday and threw a curveball at the pitching plans for both teams.
Colorado’s Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 5.25 ERA) and Minnesota’s Jose Berrios (1-0, 1.17 ERA) were assigned to pitch the second game, but neither manager expressed interest in bringing the afternoon starter back Monday on short rest.
Twins manager Paul Molitor announced that Alejandro Mejia will start Saturday against Kansas City, leaving options open for Monday. Rockies manager Bud Black was noncommittal for Monday, when the team will play at Philadelphia, but Jeff Hoffman could be recalled from the minors for that game.
Rockies: SS Trevor Story, placed on the 10-day DL a week ago with a strained left shoulder, took batting practice before the game and was dispatched to a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque. He’s batting only .180 with a team-high 48 strikeouts in 111 at-bats.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (2-4, 6.43 ERA) will take the mound Friday at Cincinnati, with RHP Lisalverto Bonilla (0-1, 4.85) pitching for the Reds.
Twins: RHP Hector Santiago (4-2, 3.80 ERA) will pitch Friday against Kansas City, opposite RHP Nate Karns (2-2, 4.46) for the Royals.