DENVER — Rockies manager Bud Black knows all about the evolution of a big league pitching staff over the years.

He’s lived it.

He flourished in the days when starters were expected to at least come close to finishing what they started, and he welcomes the change to embrace the new-look world where the depth and durability of the bullpen has become as significant as the men in the rotation.

And in the early days of the 2017 season, his first with the Rockies, he should embrace it.

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Denver native Kyle Freeland worked six innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks in winning his major-league debut. He is the first starting pitcher to make his Major League debut in his hometown team’s home opener since Chuck Dobson of the Kansas City A’s on April 19, 1966.

Both Freeland and Dobson earned the victories, although Freeland retired one more batter than Dobson, who worked 5 2/3 innings, and Freeland gave up one run, one less than Dobson.

Freeland turned in the Rockies first quality start of the season in what was the Rockies first 2-1 victory at Coors Field in 334 days, since they beat the Dodgers on May 8 last season.

ROCKIES CLOSER Greg Holland, lefty Mike Dunn and right-hander Adam Ottavino were unavaiable Friday. No problem. Right-handed relieversCarlos Esteves and Scott Oberg each worked a scoreless inning, and then lefty Jake McGee struck out the side in the ninth for his first save of the season, and the team’s fourth.

Holland earned the Rockies first three saves of the season in Milwaukee, closing out Games 1, 2 and 4 of the season.

The bullpen has worked a combined 17 1/3 innings in five games, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking six and striking out 23.

DODGERS BULLPEN was just as challenging for the Rockies. The Dodger relievers worked 3 1/3 shutout/hitless innings, including Jose Fields, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City. He struck out the side in the eighth.

ROCKIES SOLDOUT their home opener for the 25th time in their 25-year existence. the announced paid attendance was 49,169.