Rockies Two-Out Rally Stuns Diamondbacks

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Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 1

PHOENIX, May 7 — Three hits with two outs in the top of the ninth, out of five total for the inning, gave the Colorado Rockies a stunning 4–1 comeback victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday evening.

Neither starter blinked for his entire outing. Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland pitched six scoreless innings, scattering five hits while walking two and striking out five. Not to be outdone, Diamondbacks righty Zach Davies allowed only three hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings, walking two and fanning six.

Manager Torey Lovullo called the outing “fantastic.” Davies said it was a matter of “getting ahead of hitters, making them put it in play, (and) keeping them off balance.” He added, “The command was there. (I didn’t allow) them to put good swings on it. That’s my style of pitching. I’m not a guy who’s gonna strike out a lot of guys. I want to have them off balance and have them (hit) weak ground balls and jam shots.”

Diamondbacks Take Late Lead over Rockies

The Diamondbacks finally broke through in the bottom of the eighth. Facing right-hander Alex Colomé, designated hitter Cooper Hummel led off with a high chopper toward third. It appeared initially like Hummel would beat it out, but a fine transfer and rocket throw by Ryan McMahon nabbed him by less than a step. Center fielder Jordan Luplow walked, bringing up second baseman Ketel Marte. Luplow stole both second and third during the at-bat. Marte ultimately walked, putting runners on the corners for first baseman Christian Walker.

On 2–1, Walker ripped a drive to deep right. Charlie Blackmon attempted to make a leaping catch near the fence but missed. Luplow scored easily. Marte, who had to wait to see whether Blackmon caught the ball, pulled up at third as Walker coasted into second with a double. The Rockies intentionally walked left fielder David Peralta, loading the bases for shortstop Nick Ahmed, who hit a bouncer to short. Jose Iglesias threw home, forcing Marte, and the relay to first beat Ahmed. The 6-2-3 double play ended the inning with the Diamondbacks clinging to a 1–0 lead.

Rockies Make a Miraculous Comeback

Mark Melancon trotted to the mound to close out the game. Back-to-back singles by first baseman C.J. Cron and McMahon quickly put Melancon in a jam, but a strikeout of catcher Elias Díaz calmed the situation. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers hit a bouncer to short, but it was not hit hard enough to be a double play. Ahmed threw to second for the force, putting runners on the corners with two outs and left fielder Yonathan Daza as the last hope for the Rockies.

On 1–1, Daza hit a knuckle curve — off his shoetops — up the middle for a game-tying single. Iglesias followed with a seeing-eye single to left, golfing another knuckle curve from below the zone. That scored Rodgers and advanced Daza to third. Designated hitter Connor Joe kept the hit parade going with a single to center. Luplow tried to gun down Iglesias at third, but the throw went wild. Iglesias scored the Rockies’ fourth run of the inning as Joe took second. That was it for Melancon. Kyle Nelson retired Blackmon on a liner to center, mercifully retiring the side. Daniel Bard pitched a four-batter bottom of the ninth, notching his ninth save of the season for the Rockies.

“Gotta Tip Your Hat”

The Rockies did not appear to make great contact in the ninth, but Melancon said “you’ve got to tip your hat. They put the ball in play and found holes.” He added that the entire outing was “one of those headscratchers.” Making good pitches that the opponents still hit did not soften the blow. “It’s never easy,” Melancon said with a chuckle to soften the sting. “We play a great game, guys come score one in the eighth. It’s just the way you draw it up. You try to learn from those, take everything you can. Ideally, you learn from the good ones. This one, though…you’ve got to always find the positives.”

Looking Ahead

Alex Colome, despite giving up the go-ahead run, got the win in relief. Melancon took the double whammy of a blown save and a loss. The Rockies and Diamondbacks will play the third game of their three-game series Sunday afternoon. Righty German Márquez (0–2, 6.92 ERA) will take the hill for the Rockies against Diamondbacks righty Zac Gallen (1–0, 1.27 ERA). First pitch will be at 1:10 pm.

Main Photo:
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Players mentioned:

Kyle Freeland, Zach Davies, Torey Lovullo, Alex Colomé, Cooper Hummel, Ryan McMahon, Jordan Luplow, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, Charlie Blackmon, David Peralta, Nick Ahmed, Jose Iglesias, Mark Melancon, C.J. Cron, Elias Díaz, Brendan Rodgers, Yonathan Daza, Connor Joe, Kyle Nelson, Daniel Bard, German Márquez, Zac Gallen