HOUSTON – Michael Cuddyer still is recovering from being plunked in the right forearm a couple of days ago, which makes doing many things uncomfortable.
Luckily for the Colorado Rockies, swinging hardly hurts him at all.
Cuddyer had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth inning that gave Colorado a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros in interleague play Tuesday.
“It’s sore. There’s no question it’s sore and swollen,” Cuddyer said. “But fortunately the way I got hit the one thing that really doesn’t bother me is swinging. Pretty much everything else, it doesn’t feel great, but swinging I don’t really feel it all that much. I got really lucky in that sense.”
Troy Tulowitzki doubled off Houston closer Jose Veras (0-4) to start the ninth and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Cuddyer followed with his single, which sailed just out of reach of leaping third baseman Matt Dominguez.
“It doesn’t surprise me with Cuddy,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He’s always looking to answer the bell. He’s a great pro. Twenty-four hours ago I wasn’t sure that he’d be playing this early, but he’s going to find a way to get in the lineup.”
Tulowitzki had an RBI single in the first. Chris Carter tied it in the fourth with an RBI grounder.
Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa scattered five hits with one run over seven innings. He had won his previous four starts and finished the month 4-0 with a 2.08 earned-run average.
Matt Belisle (2-2) threw a perfect eighth for the win. Closer Rafael Betancourt struck out two in the ninth for his 11th save.
Houston starter Jordan Lyles yielded six hits and one run in a season-long seven innings. Wesley Wright took over and struck out two in a scoreless eighth before he was replaced by Veras.
Manager Bo Porter was impressed with the work of his 22-year-old pitcher.
“Jordan Lyles – (Tuesday) is what you would call graduation,” Porter said. “I think he’s learned from his time last year. I think he’s learned from early on this year, and he was able to make quality pitches to get himself out of some tough jams and got the big strikeout when he needed it.”
The Rockies won late a day after Houston got a 3-2 victory in 12 innings.
“The bottom line is we found a way to win a game, and that’s huge,” Weiss said. “You’ve got to find ways to win those tight games. We’ve been in a lot of tight games, we’ve been kicked in the stomach a few times because sometimes that’s the reward you get for competing well and being in a lot of tight games. You’re going to lose some of those games. It was nice to find a way to win (Tuesday).”
Dexter Fowler drew a walk to start the game and advanced to third on a single by Nolan Arenado. A one-out single by Tulowitzki put Colorado ahead.
Fowler walked again to begin the third. Arenado reached on a forceout and eventually reached third but was caught at the plate when shortstop Ronny Cedeño made a nice catch on Tulowitzki’s fly and threw home.
“That’s a great play. Not only the catch but the wherewithal to get rid of the ball at the speed at which he got rid of the ball and the accuracy of the throw,” Porter said. “So, if that’s in the Olympics, you’re judging it a 10.”
The Rockies had another chance to add onto their lead in the fourth when they loaded the bases with no outs. But Colorado came up empty when Lyles struck out Yorvit Torrealba and DJ LeMahieu grounded into a double play to end the inning.
“I’m just trying to get outs, really,” Lyles said. “Just trying to put up a good outing and not let our bullpen throw too many innings. I’m just trying to do my job.”
De La Rosa hit two batters in the fourth. Carlos Corporan later scored when Arenado fielded Carter’s grounder to third base but threw it over Torrealba’s head at the plate.