Rockies Crush Diamondbacks, Stave off Sweep

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Rockies 9, Diamondbacks 3

PHOENIX, July 8 — Dom Nuñez belted three of his club’s 13 hits, including two doubles, as the Colorado Rockies crushed the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9–3, Thursday afternoon to avoid a series sweep.

Rockies Take Early Lead

The Rockies took a 1–0 lead in the top of the second on a leadoff single by third baseman Ryan McMahon and a two-out RBI double by catcher Dom Nuñez. They made it 2–0 in the fourth thanks to a two-out rally. Right fielder Yonathan Daza walked before Nuñez advanced him to third on a single. Gonzalez followed with a single to help his own cause, plating Daza as Nuñez advanced to third. The frame ended when center fielder Garrett Hampson grounded into a 6–4 force play.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Diamondbacks cut the deficit to 2–1. A leadoff walk by third baseman Eduardo Escobar and follow-up single by right fielder Josh Reddick put runners on first and third for rookie center fielder Stuart Fairchild. Fairchild, who singled in his first major league at-bat Wednesday night, grounded into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play to score the run without an RBI.

Diamondbacks Pull Ahead, Rockies Respond

The Diamondbacks took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. It came after a one-out pinch-double by Andrew Young, who scored on a two-out, two-run home run into the visitor’s bullpen by the right-field corner by second baseman Josh VanMeter. This made the score 3–2 Diamondbacks after five.

The Rockies regained the lead in the top of the sixth, although they only managed one hit in the frame. With one out, reliever Jordan Weems plunked first baseman C.J. Cron. A high chopper to short advanced Cron to third. After Nuñez drew an intentional walk to bring up the pitcher’s spot, pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon — a Diamondback killer — reached on an RBI infield single up the middle. Nuñez went first to third on the play. This proved important during the at-bat of the next hitter, Hampson, as he scored on a wild pitch to give the Rockies a 4–3 advantage.

The Rockies took a commanding lead in the top of the seventh as they lit up reliever Riley Smith. Left fielder Raimel Tapia and shortstop Trevor Story led off with consecutive doubles before second baseman Brendan Rodgers reached on an infield single. McMahon followed with a single, scoring Story from second. That brought up Cron, whom Smith drilled in the helmet, forcing Cron out of the game. Up came Daza, whose double scored Rodgers and McMahon as pinch-runner Jon Gray took third. With the Rockies now holding an 8–3 lead, Smith finally got out of the inning without any further damage when Nuñez grounded to second, pinch-hitter Josh Fuentes flied to right, and Hampson flied to center. The Rockies finalized the score in the top of the ninth on a two-out double by Nuñez and RBI single by Fuentes.

Postgame Reflections

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo praised Jake Faria for his starting pitching job. “He gave us five quality innings and gave up only a couple of runs. When he left the game, we were ahead. That’s what we ask our pitchers to do. What stood out to me was that he threw a 10-pitch fifth, came back into the dugout, and gave himself a chance to win a baseball game.”

Daza had three hits, matching his combined total from the previous 10 games. About that, Lovullo said, “I think we made some mistakes in his hot zone. We know what they are and what we have to do to have success against him. He counter-punched us — he was waiting for his pitch, and when he got it, he didn’t miss it.”

Looking Ahead

Chi Chi Gonzalez (3–5) earned the win for the Rockies. Jordan Weems (0–1) took the loss in his first outing with the Diamondbacks. The Rockies (38–50) head to San Diego for a Friday-Saturday-Sunday three-gamer with the Padres, while the Diamondbacks (25-64) head to Los Angeles for a three-gamer with the Dodgers. Taylor Widener, returning from injury, will start Game One for the Diamondbacks, while the Dodgers have yet to announce a starter. First pitch is at 7:10 Pacific.

Main Photo:
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Players mentioned:

Dom Nuñez, Ryan McMahon, Yonathan Daza, Garrett Hampson, Eduardo Escobar, Josh Reddick, Stuart Fairchild, Andrew Young, Josh VanMeter, Jordan Weems, C.J. Cron, Charlie Blackmon, Riley Smith, Raimel Tapia, Trevor Story, Brendan Rodgers, Jon Gray, Josh Fuentes, Torey Lovullo, Jake Faria, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Taylor Widener