Rusin comes to the rescue after Gray's injury

Rusin comes to the rescue after Gray's injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies lefty Chris Rusin stepping in to replace an injured starter and providing stingy pitching -- 3 1/3 one-run innings in Thursday night's a 3-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park, after Jon Gray's left big toe injury flared in the fourth inning -- was familiar.

On May 31, 2015, Rusin replaced Jordan Lyles -- who suffered a season-ending right big toe ligament injury -- and held the Phillies scoreless in 4 2/3 innings of the Rockies' 4-1 road victory over the Phillies.

Last Aug. 13 -- same Citizens Bank Park, same Phillies -- Rusin replaced Tyler Chatwood, who suffered a back injury, and held the Phillies scoreless for three innings. Chatwood struggled before leaving and the Rockies lost, but Rusin at least held them close.

Gray originally suffered his injury in Spring Training and he aggravated it in the second inning. Gray stayed in through the third and into the fourth, which at least gave Rusin time to prepare.

"Once they told me he came up slow after that one ground ball he fielded, I was stretched and ready to go," Rusin said. "I knew I had to eat up innings and get outs as quickly as possible. I was able to do that."

Rusin needed just 37 pitches to get the game into the seventh inning, from which point the strong back of the Rockies bullpen could assure victory.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.