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Bullpen comes up short for D-backs in loss to Rockies

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano throws against the Colorado Rockies during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

PHOENIX – After another short outing from their starting pitching, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen faltered first in a back-and-forth affair with the Colorado Rockies, losing their second straight of this three-game series 6-5.

Zack Godley came into this one with a 4-0 career-record in four starts against the Rockies. He sported a 2.03 ERA with a .189 opponent batting average in those wins, so his quick start was no surprise.

Godley cruised through his first three innings, not allowing a hit while striking out a pair. The Rockies started making him work in the fourth inning, however, where he gave up a pair of walks.

Meanwhile, the D-backs hitters opened the game up offensively in the bottom of the fourth. After Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland hit Ketel Marte with a pitch and then walked Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, Steven Souza Jr. and Chris Owings both had RBI singles. Nick Ahmed added a sac fly RBI that put the D-backs up 3-0.

Once Godley had the lead, he seemed to let his foot off the pedal and mistakes started to occur. He gave up a triple to Ian Desmond to start the inning, who immediately scored on a Garrett Hampson RBI double in the next at-bat. Charlie Blackmon drove in Hampson with a RBI double of his own later in the inning.

Godley lasted five innings before getting into another jam in the sixth. He allowed five hits and four runs, three of which were earned. He gave up three walks and struck out six. He threw 83 total pitches.

Both teams scored in the seventh inning, maintaining the tie, but the Rockies pulled ahead in the eighth inning when relief pitcher Yoshi Hirano threw a thigh-high splitter that pinch-hitter Tom Murphy sent to the left-field stands.

The D-backs made it exciting in the ninth, but they fall short after a questionable strike-three call on Ahmed with two on ended the chances of a comeback.

Arizona has now lost consecutive games in the series and drops to third place in the NL West. Hirano is charged with the loss, his second of the season. They will look to avoid starting the second half of the season by getting swept Sunday.

THE GOOD

Marte went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks. In his last 24 home games, Marte is hitting .371 with 18 RBI and nine walks.

Souza was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a walk. Despite struggling this season, he currently has a .733 OPS in his last nine starts. 

THE BAD

Godley’s outing started out strong, not allowing a hit through the first three innings. But once the D-backs got a lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, Godley seemed to fall apart. He allowed two earned runs in the fifth inning and two more runs in the sixth. After committing the fielding error to start the sixth inning, Godley couldn’t get his head back into the game.

Jon Jay is hitting .215 as a member of the D-backs. He was hitting .307 with the Kansas City Royals earlier this season.

STAT OF THE GAME

4-for-10: The D-backs batting with runners in scoring position. They left 10 runners on base.

HE SAID IT

“Obviously, a really frustrating ending right there. Kind of ridiculous. I mean, if you go back and look at the video, that ball should not be called a strike. That’s a really good pitch right there, and for Nick to work that count, he doesn’t deserve that. Paul’s got to do better than that.” – Souza on Ahmed’s strikeout to end the game.

NOTED

– Hailey Dawson, an eight-year-old born with Poland Syndrome, threw out the first pitch before the game with the use of a 3D-printed robotic hand created by the UNLV College of Engineering.

– It was Jake Lamb Bobblehead Night, however Lamb did not play. Since 2001, bobblehead honorees are hitting .354 with 7 home runs and 21 RBI when playing on their respective bobblehead days.

– 43,340 were in attendance at Chase Field, with a cool indoor temperature of 80 degrees at first pitch.

UP NEXT

The D-backs will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday with staff ace Zack Greinke taking the mound in his start since the All-Star Game, where he did not play. He will match up against right-handed pitcher Antonio Senzatela (3-2, 5.34 ERA) for the Rockies.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Greinke is 10-5 this season with a 3.18 ERA. Since June 3, he is 4-0 in five starts with a 1.14 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and an opponent batting average of .222.​

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