OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Sam Hilliard homered for the first time this season, Antonio Senzatela pitched out of an early jam on his way to a rare road win, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Oakland Athletics 8-3 Tuesday night.
Charlie Blackmon had two hits, David Dahl drove in a pair of runs and Nolan Arenado made up for an uncharacteristic fielding error with a single and sacrifice fly to help the Rockies to their third straight win following an opening day loss to Texas.
“We’ve got a good pitching staff always and this year we’ve been doing good,” Senzatela said. “We were just working for that in the offseason, even through the quarantine. I think we deserve this.”
Hilliard was hitless going into the day before doubling off A’s starter Daniel Mengden in the second and then homering in the fourth. Hilliard, who homered in his major league debut last August, laced a 2-2 pitch into the right-field stands after Raimel Tapia singled.
“Sam’s blast, the breaking ball in the seats was a great swing,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “I like the double the other way. We saw Sam do that a number of times last year, take pitches away from him, hit them to left field. The home run gave us a big lift.”
Senzatela worked himself into an early jam but got Oakland slugger Khris Davis to pop out with the bases loaded in the first on the way to his first win on the road since July 5, 2019. The right-hander had dropped five straight away from home since then.
Senzatela (1-0) allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out three.
“I threw too many pitches in the first inning but I just put on myself, ‘I need to make it through five to give the team a chance to win,’ and I did it,” Senzatela said.
Tyler Kinley, Daniel Bard and Carlos Estévez combined to two-hit the A’s over the final four innings.
Ramon Laureano had two hits and Mark Canha added a sacrifice fly for the A’s, who were attempting to go 4-1 for the first time since 2010.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin had been hopeful of resting his taxed bullpen but didn’t get the chance after Mengden (0-1) lasted four innings and gave up three runs on five hits.
“Strike one can be a problem for him sometimes,” Melvin said. “He tries to be a little too fine at times. It’s getting the pitch count down and trying to get the other team to put the ball in play earlier in the count.”
The Rockies tacked on a pair in the fifth with four consecutive one-out hits and a sacrifice fly off A’s reliever Jordan Weems in his major league debut. They scored three more in the eighth.