Pat Valaika homers in 8th, Rockies rally to beat Royals 3-2

Valaika snapped an 0-for-12 slide, driving a full-count pitch from Mike Minor (5-6) to left after Gerardo Parra singled.

Pat Valaika's late HR lifted the Rockies past the Royals. (Denny Medley/USA Today Sports)
Pat Valaika's late HR lifted the Rockies past the Royals. (Denny Medley/USA Today Sports)
Pat Valaika’s late HR lifted the Rockies past the Royals. (Denny Medley/USA Today Sports)

By Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pat Valaika hit a two-run homer with two out in the eighth inning, and Greg Holland finished for his 36th save in the Colorado Rockies’ 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.

Valaika snapped an 0-for-12 slide, driving a full-count pitch from Mike Minor (5-6) to left after Gerardo Parra singled.

Holland worked a perfect ninth. He allowed Eric Hosmer’s game-ending, three run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday night and was 0-4 with three blown saves in his previous six appearances.

Adam Ottavino (2-3) struck out two in a perfect seventh.

The Rockies snapped a four-game losing streak with just their fifth victory in 17 games.

Rookie Jake Junis limited the Rockies to one run and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings. He matched his career high with seven strikeouts and walked one. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in three August starts, walking one and striking out 16 in 19 1-3 innings.

Whit Merrifield and Brandon Moss led off the Royals’ first and second innings with home runs. It was Merrifield’s third career leadoff home run, all this season, and his eighth hit in 15 at-bats. Moss hit his 17th home run, 14 of them with the bases empty.

Rockies starter German Marquez allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings.

Raimel Tapia singled in Parra in the sixth for Colorado’s first run.

Royals reliever Peter Moylan got three outs on seven pitches. He got DJ LaMahieu to roll into a double play to end the seventh, and retired the Nolan Arenado, who singled in his first two at-bats, on a comebacker to start the eighth.