September 27, 2022

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Blach a bright spot in relief vs. former team

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Right-hander strikes out three in 2 2/3 scoreless innings at Oracle Park
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SAN FRANCISCO — Left-hander Ty Blach’s focus was not to be a homecoming story, or merely something good on a night of little good for his Rockies during a 9-2 loss to the Giants on Tuesday night.

Blach, who pitched for the Giants from 2016-19, simply needed to get rolling. His first two outings were strong in important points of Rockies wins. But in his next four outings, he yielded eight runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings. His role is to eat innings and take pressure off the late bullpen, but better pitching could not only rest the key lead protectors, but give the Rockies a chance to rally.

Tuesday was Blach’s second straight scoreless outing, and this one was 2 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

“I was in this role for three or four months back in 2018, so it’s a role I’m very comfortable with,” Blach said. “I know what I’m doing. We’ve got a great group of guys down there and continue to build and try to get some more wins.”

No rally was going to happen Tuesday, not when the Rockies pulled the difficult feat of managing just two runs out of 10 hits. And Blach entered in a hole because of a poor night by starter Antonio Senzatela (five runs, seven hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings) and an equally ineffective night from a defense that didn’t turn two double plays he needed and was a step slow and a reach too short all evening.

But Blach couldn‘t worry about the struggles of his club, which fell to 1-4 on a National League West road trip. Nor could he let his status as an ex-Giant be anything but a motivator. Blach underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020 while with the Orioles, and was without a team until the Rockies – in his hometown of Denver — signed him to a Minor League contract this winter.

“Just being able to be back — the journey that I’ve been through the last few years — pitch in this stadium, that was cool,” Blach said.

Blach entered in the fifth, after Lucas Gilbreath — a lefty the Rockies need to get going — walked in two runs. One runner Blach inherited scored on a sacrifice fly by the first hitter he faced, LaMonte Wade Jr.

Blach said his poor outings resulted from “just a few things, just intention wise, location-wise” that he has addressed.

“Ty’s been throwing strikes for us — he works fast, changes speeds,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He had a good outing tonight. It’s what we needed — to save our bullpen for tomorrow.”

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