Bernard keys Rockies’ win in long-awaited debut

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DENVER — Wynton Bernard lastly acquired his probability to play within the main leagues a decade after he was drafted by the San Diego Padres, and he made it rely.

Bernard, batting eighth and enjoying middle discipline, singled, stole a base and scored in his main league debut, serving to the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Friday night time.

The 31-year-old Bernard toiled within the minors for greater than 10 years and 863 video games earlier than having his contract from Triple-A Albuquerque chosen by Colorado on Friday. He made it a memorable debut when he helped spark a seventh-inning rally that put the Rockies in entrance for good.

Bernard obtained a loud ovation when he stepped to the plate for the primary time within the backside of the third. He grounded out to second, however obtained extra love from the group.

“I by no means had something like that,” he stated. “That was unimaginable.”

Bernard was taken within the thirty fifth spherical of the 2012 draft and spent three seasons within the Padres’ minor league system. He additionally performed within the minors for Detroit, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs, together with stints within the Mexican Winter League, Venezuelan Winter League and unbiased ball. And, he performed for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.

In 10 minor league seasons, he hit .286 with 50 homers and 226 stolen bases. His first stolen base within the majors had a huge impact.

Bernard legged out an infield single after Sam Hilliard began the inning with a double off Chris Devenski. Bernard stole second, went to 3rd on Charlie Blackmon‘s RBI single and scored on a sacrifice fly.

“I need to do every thing I can to assist the group win,” Bernard stated. “So in an enormous state of affairs like that, to come back via for the group, it was big.”

Colorado supervisor Bud Black went to see Bernard and outfielder Connor Joe within the winter of 2020. He pitched batting apply to each gamers and inspired the Rockies to signal them.

“I made the advice to our entrance workplace to see if we are able to signal these guys,” Black stated. “Our entrance workplace contacted their brokers they usually acquired offers finished.”

Joe made his Rockies debut in 2021 whereas Bernard performed for the Isotopes the previous two seasons. He hit .254 with seven homers in 2021. This yr, his numbers are excellent: .325 with 17 homers, 24 doubles and 26 stolen bases.

Bernard was advised he was being promoted earlier than Albuquerque’s sport on Thursday. He celebrated with teammates and shared the information together with his mom in a video name.

“My mother’s feelings, it made me break down much more. She’s finished a lot,” he stated. “The way in which I noticed her care for my dad earlier than he handed away, he was bedridden however she stayed by his facet. I stated to myself, ‘I understand how exhausting she labored so I will work simply as exhausting — if not more durable.’ Simply to see her response meant so much.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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