PHOENIX – They’re not the Cardiac Cardinals, they’re not even close, but the Rockies put on two rallies to beat hapless Arizona on Friday night at Chase Field.
After the Diamondbacks bombarded starter Jon Gray with seven runs in the third inning, the Rockies won the game, 9-7, scoring six runs in the sixth and three more in the ninth.
Arizona, owner of the worst record in the majors, fell to 50-110. Five Rockies relievers – Yency Almonte, Jordan Sheffield, Tyler Kinley, Lucas Gilbreath and Carlos Estévez – dominated the D-Backs, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out nine. Gilbreath got the win and Estevez made his 11th save.
“Those guys closed the door from the fifth inning,” manager Bud Black said. “That allowed our position players to have good at-bats, and Sam (Hilliard) had the big home run to get us closer.”
Shortstop Trevor Story, probably playing in his last series for Colorado, hit a single at home Brendan Rodgers with the lead run in the ninth. A CJ Cron RBI ground to shortstop Geraldo Perdomo scored Charlie Blackmon for an extra run.
Dom Nunez opened the ninth with a solo home run off Caleb Smith to tie the game 7-7.
The last time the Rockies rallied from a seven or more run deficit to win a game was on August 25, 2010 against Atlanta at Coors Field. With nine runs down, the Rockies won that game 12-10.
While it was a night to celebrate for Colorado, it was a night to forget for Gray. Or maybe one that will linger in the painful memory.
In what could have been his last game in a Rockies uniform, the 29-year-old right-hander was pitched with seven runs and seven hits, including three home runs in four innings. Gray was not available to speak to the media after the game.
The most painful part for Gray: All that damage happened in the terrible third inning. In the first, second and fourth innings, Gray got the Diamondbacks in order, struck out seven and walked out.
“You know, high pitches to major league hitters down the middle.
off the plate, you’re really taking a chance, ”Black said.
Gray, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, will become a free agent at the end of the season. Although Gray and the Rockies have expressed interest in keeping him in Colorado, nothing is certain.
It will be interesting to see how Gray’s performance in the final two months of the season projects into his future. He hasn’t gone deeper than five innings since Aug. 4 and was 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA in his last nine starts.
Gray was on fire as Friday night’s game began, striking out four of the six Arizona batters he faced. But the Diamondbacks attacked Gray in the third.
Jake McCarthy led off with a single and Geraldo Perdomo followed with a double. Humberto Castellanos came up to the plate. He pushed Gray’s first-pitch slider into the left-field seats for a three-run home run. It was the first home run by a D-Backs pitcher since Zack Greinke homered on June 24, 2019 at Chase Field against Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.
A solo home run by Ketel Marte and a two-run home run by Christian Walker completed Arizona’s ambush of Gray.
The Rockies’ sixth run of six runs brought them back into the game.
They tagged Castellanos for six hits, including an RBI single by Cron, an RBI double by Ryan McMahon and an RBI single by Elias Diaz. But the big hit came from Hilliard’s bat. He drove the sinker on Castellano’s first pitch to the left-center field seats for a three-run home run. It was Hilliard’s 13th home run, seven of them on the road.
“This is a physical change that Sam has made, nothing to do with (things) mentally, right?” Black said, referring to Hilliard’s recent improvement at the plate. “It’s about what he needed to do with his hitting mechanics. And it changed mid-season, which is very difficult to do. And (he) accepted the results, even if it was the other way around. “
Story recorded his name in the Major League Baseball record book in the seventh inning. He walked and stole second place in his 20th steal of the season and 100th of his career.
Story became the seventh player of all time to hit 150 home runs and steal 100 bases in his first six seasons. He joined an exclusive club that includes Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Darryl Strawberry, Andruw Jones, Ryan Braun, and Mike Trout.
Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (4-9, 4.10 ERA) in Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (3-10, 4.37)
6:10 pm Saturday, Chase Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM / 94.1 FM
Senzatela emerged as the Rockies’ most consistent starter late in the season, making quality starts in eight of his last nine starts since Aug. 11, with a 3.00 ERA. That ranks 10th best in the National League in that span. Senzatela has become a strikeout shooter, ranking third in the majors with an average of 1.73 walks per nine innings. It did not account for Colorado’s 6-2 loss to San Francisco on Sunday at Coors Field, but allowed just two runs and eight hits in six innings. In two starts at Chase Field this season, Senzatela has a 5.06 ERA against the Diamondbacks. Gallen is off to a strong start against the Dodgers, allowing a six-inning earned run for the win. He is 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts against the Rockies this season and is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in six career starts against them. On August 21 at Coors Field, he pitched seven scoreless innings, but ignored the decision.
Trends: The Rockies opened their final three-game “road trip” of the season on Friday night, after a hot streak away from Coors Field. In their nine-game swing through Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington, they finished 7-2.
In question: For the season, the Rockies rank last in the National League in road batting average (.215), on-base percentage (.290) and OPS (.683). They rank 14th in road home runs (74), beating only Pittsburgh (66).
Sunday: Rockies TBA at Diamondbacks TBA, 1:10 pm, ATTRM
End of regular season