DENVER (AP) — Chad Bettis hung tough for 11 pitches. His 12th delivery to Jose Abreu opened the floodgates, and the Colorado Rockies never recovered.
Abreu and Avisail Garcia each hit two of Chicago’s six homers, powering the White Sox to a 15-3 win over Colorado on Tuesday night.
It was a much closer game with one out in the seventh, when Bettis came in from the bullpen with two runners on base. His battle with Abreu was at a standstill until he grooved a curveball that the Cuban slugger hit over the left field wall to make it 7-2.
“It was a bad pitch. If I could have it back I would like it to go about 4 inches further down than what it was,” Bettis said. “It was right above the knees. But you can’t get that one back.
“That’s a big swinging point of the game.”
Jose Quintana (1-0) pitched seven sharp innings, and Tyler Flowers and Alexei Ramirez also went deep for the first time this season.
Two of the home runs were hit in the second inning against Rockies starter Franklin Morales (0-1). He gave up a solo shot to Garcia, who had four hits, and a two-run homer to Flowers that gave Chicago an early 3-0 lead.
“I missed on a splitter in the middle and (Garcia) got a home run,” Morales said. “After that I tried to fight and stay in the game.”
The left-hander managed to stick around into the seventh, but after getting the first out, he hit Adam Eaton with a pitch and gave up a single to Marcus Semien, who also had four of Chicago’s 19 hits.
Bettis came in to face the right-handed-hitting Abreu. The count was 2-2 when Abreu fouled off six straight pitches. After Bettis missed with a changeup, Abreu jumped all over a 77 mph curve for his first major league home run.
“The changeup before the curveball, it could have been a little bit better pitch,” Bettis said. “That curveball, 4 inches further down, it’s a completely different result.”
The White Sox broke it open with six runs in the eighth off righty Wilton Lopez. Garcia and Ramirez greeted him with consecutive home runs, and Abreu had a two-run shot that made it 12-3.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss wanted Lopez to get through the inning, but after he allowed an RBI single to Garcia, Lopez was lifted for Tommy Kahnle.
Lopez’s line wasn’t pretty: six runs, eight hits and three homers while getting just two outs. He was booed as he walked off the mound by the smattering of fans that remained.
“You’re trying at that point to think about tomorrow and not blow through the bullpen, but I don’t like to leave a guy out there as long as I did, or take him out in the middle of the inning and have him walk off the field,” Weiss said.
Michael Cuddyer had a double and a solo homer off Quintana. Troy Tulowitzki added an RBI double.
The Rockies juggled their lineup to give several starters the day off, including Carlos Gonzalez and streaking Charlie Blackmon. Tulowitzki was in the field a day after being taken out with a tight right quadriceps.
Tulowitzki looked a little tentative running out a grounder in the first inning and again in the fourth. He easily trotted to second on his RBI double in the sixth, which made it 4-2.
The smooth-fielding shortstop said before the game he felt a slight twinge in his leg in the cool weather Monday and was taken out as a precaution. Tulowitzki has a history of leg ailments, and the Rockies plan to play it safe.
Asked if the tweak was at all a concern, Tulowitzki said: “If I play it smart and do the stuff that I need to do before the game, I think I’ll be fine.”
NOTES: White Sox RHP Erik Johnson (0-1) pitches Wednesday against RHP Juan Nicasio (1-0) in the finale of the three-game series. … Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (hamstring) tossed 6 1-3 innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs, giving up one run and striking out eight. … Cuddyer has a hit in all nine games this season. The longest hitting streak to start a season in Rockies history is 16 games by Juan Pierre in 2000. … A line drive off the bat of Garcia in the eighth hit a fan sitting above the first base dugout in the face. He held a towel to his face as medical personnel escorted him up the aisle.