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Sedona Red Recap: Arenado’s eighth inning blast sinks D-backs

Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado, right, watches the flight of his three-run home run as Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Iannetta, left, looks on during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — With two outs, a base open and Major League Baseball’s No. 1 run producer at the plate in a tie ballgame in the eighth inning, the Arizona Diamondbacks rolled the dice.

Snake eyes.

Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead three-run home run off reliever Jake Barrett and the Colorado Rockies hung on for a 5-4 series-opening victory in front of an announced crowd of 24,178 at Chase Field on Monday.

The win, their fifth straight and seventh in a row on the road, pulled the Rockies to within four games of the D-backs for the first Wild Card spot in the National League.

They had lost five straight to the D-backs.

Arenado finished with two hits and four RBI, giving him 123 on the season.

D.J. LeMahieu added an RBI, going 3-for-4, falling a home run shy of the cycle.

Tyler Anderson (4-5) earned the win in relief of starter Kyle Freeland, who was knocked out of the game because of an injury; Barrett (1-1) suffered the loss and the save went to Greg Holland, his 40th.

The D-backs wasted yet another stellar effort from Zack Greinke. He went seven innings, recording a quality start—his 13th in 17 home starts—with two runs allowed on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

J.D. Martinez, who earlier was named NL Player of the Week, had three hits and an RBI.

The D-backs have lost three of four since a franchise-best 13-game winning streak.

THE GOOD

With two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning, Greinke beat out an infield single to plate Martinez for the game’s first run. However, Brandon Drury was thrown out at home trying to score from second — he was waved in by third base coach Tony Perezchica — as the ball Greinke hit was deflected by Freeland to the second baseman.

Call it small ball. Leading off the fourth inning, Martinez singled — the ball hit off Anderson’s left shoulder, knocking him from the game — advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Adam Rosales sacrifice fly to deep left field. It was Rosales’ ninth RBI in 25 games since being acquired from the Oakland Athletics and it put the D-backs ahead, 2-1.

Trailing 5-2, the D-backs mounted a comeback in the eighth inning, and of course Martinez was involved. With two outs and a run already in on a Paul Goldschmidt RBI groundout, Martinez beat out an infield single to plate Pollock to make the score 5-4. Martinez, who now has 46 RBI in 46 games as a D-back, has driven in at least one run in four straight games.

THE BAD

One out. Greinke and the D-backs were one out away in the third inning from preserving their 1-0 lead. Instead, LeMahieu lined a first-pitch fastball into right field to score Jonathan Lucroy who had led off the inning with a triple off the center field wall. LeMahieu, who had struck out on three pitches in the at-bat prior, hit a pitched that clocked in at 92.5 mph.

Eight straight Greinke had retired before LeMahieu’s one-out double in the sixth inning. Two batters later, and with two outs, Arenado blistered a 1-0 fastball off the center field wall — A.J. Pollock gave a nice effort, just may have mistimed his jump — and the game was once again tied, 2-2. It was Arenado’s 120th RBI, which leads all of baseball.

It was an 88.4 mph slider on a 2-1 count that Barrett tried to sneak past Arenado in the eighth inning. The three-run home run snapped a three appearance scoreless streak for the former ASU Sun Devil who saw his ERA jump from 3.92 to 5.14. For Arenado, the homer was his 33rd of the season, 17 of which have come on the road, and RBIs 121, 122 and 123.

STAT OF THE GAME

4, 11: Arenado’s RBI total for the game and now on the season against the D-backs

HE SAID IT

“If the game was on the line,” manager Torey Lovullo said, “I felt like I wanted Arenado against Jake Barrett. (Arenado) typically doesn’t hit the ball as well against right-handed pitching, and he’s hitting over .400 against left-handed pitchers. I just didn’t want to walk T.J. (McFarland) into that type of a situation. There’s two ways to look at it: We’re going after Cargo (Carlos Gonzalez), we’re going to get Cargo left on left, but I just was trying to choose the lesser of two evils.”

NOTED

Greinke threw a first-pitch strike to 12-of-26 batters he faced; plus, he reached a 3-ball count four times

Greinke achieved 200 strikeouts for the sixth time in his career with a fifth-inning strikeout of Anderson

Pollock doubled in the eighth inning to snap what was an 0-for-16 drought; he finished 1-for-3 with a walk

Martinez is batting .450 (18-for-40) with three doubles, eight home runs and 17 RBI in his last nine games

Goldschmidt now has an RBI in seven straight home games, tied for the third-longest streak by a D-back

With a first pitch temperature of 103 degrees, the game was played with both the roof and panels closed

A moment of silence was held pregame as part of MLB’s league-wide commemoration of Sept. 11, 2001

UP NEXT

Unbeaten over his last four starts, Taijuan Walker looks to join Greinke, Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray with double-digit wins when he takes the mound in game two of the four-game series on Tuesday. The Rockies counter with fellow right-hander Jon Gray.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.

Walker (9-7) is on a three-start winning streak — beating the Giants, Rockies and Dodgers; all division wins — with an ERA of 0.79 (2 ER in 22.2 IP) and 21 strikeouts.

Most recently, he held the Dodgers to one run on four hits in six innings.

In five career starts against the Rockies, Walker is 2-1; with both wins coming this season.

Gray (9-7) too, is coming off a victory over the Dodgers. He pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in a 9-1 ballgame.

For his career, Gray is 1-2 in four starts facing the D-backs.

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