PHOENIX — For the Arizona Diamondbacks to climb back into the thick of the playoff race before the All-Star Break, they probably need to do some damage against the Colorado Rockies this weekend.
Thursday night, they took a good first step.
A.J. Pollock homered, six different D-backs scored runs and Jeremy Hellickson turned in his most effective outing of the season, as Arizona ousted Colorado 8-1 in front of 16,861 fans at Chase Field.
After falling behind 1-0 in the fifth inning, the Diamondbacks rallied in a big way. They would plate three runs in the sixth to take the lead and four more in the seventh to blow the game wide open, even adding another in the eighth for good measure.
Meanwhile, Hellickson was at the top of his game, going seven innings while allowing just three hits. It marked the deepest he’s gone into a start this season. It was also the fewest amount of hits he’s allowed this year. The win gives him six for the season, pulling him into a tie with Rubby De La Rosa for the club lead.
It’s been a rough year for the Rockies, who currently sit last in the NL West. The D-backs have already defeated them six times this year and, considering what happened in the last series against Los Angeles, it would behoove Arizona to take advantage of this matchup. Manager Chip Hale’s squad could use three — or even all four — wins in this four-game series that lasts through Sunday.
– Pollock continued his impressive season by depositing a 1-0 offering from Colorado starter Chris Rusin into the left-center seats to lead off the bottom of the sixth.
– The Diamondbacks made the most of a sixth inning miscue by Colorado. With a runner on first and two outs, Aaron Hill hit what looked like an inning-ending grounder to third. Normally reliable Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado couldn’t come up with it though, putting runners on first and second. Up next, David Peralta tripled home two runs to give Arizona the lead for good. Then the floodgates opened.
– Every starting position player for Arizona reached base. Everyone except Welington Castillo (two walks) registered at least one hit.
– Hellickson is now 4-0 in his last four home starts.
– For the third consecutive night, the Diamondbacks made an out in the base paths. This time, it was Nick Ahmed getting caught leaning too far off of second base in the first with one out. Paul Goldschmidt then singled to center — a hit that likely would’ve scored Ahmed. Instead, Goldschmidt was stranded at first and Arizona came away with no runs in the inning.
– In the seventh, Hill overran third base, stumbled trying to get back and was called out advancing.
– It’s always tough to give up an RBI to an opposing pitcher, especially in what was a close, low-scoring game at the time. And particularly when it’s that pitcher’s seventh career hit and just his fourth career RBI. That’s exactly what happened when Rusin singled home Nick Hundley in the fifth inning.
STAT OF THE GAME
26. Number of consecutive games against Colorado in which Goldschmidt has safely reached base, representing the third-longest such streak by a Diamondback. If he keeps it going Friday night, he’ll tie Justin Upton (27, from June 4, 2010 to May 17, 2012) for second. Luis Gonzalez holds the top mark at 38.
HE SAID IT
“He’s worked on that. He worked on it in winter ball, and he was expecting to get playing time against lefties. And I think he was a little disappointed he wasn’t. So he’s proven to me he deserves to play against some lefties so, when Ender comes back, he’ll still get his at-bats against certain lefties.” – Chip Hale, on David Peralta improving his hitting against left-handed pitching.
– One night after Goldschmidt saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end, he began a new one.
– Goldschmidt will also become the first Arizona player to start multiple All-Star Games. He started last year’s game in Minnesota.
– The Diamondbacks have won eight of their last 11 against the Rockies at Chase Field.
– The D-backs are now 34-2 in games where they lead after eight innings this season.
– This series will wrap up a 16-game stretch for Arizona versus NL West foes. Through 13 games, the team is 6-7.
These two teams will meet again Friday night at Chase Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Chase Anderson (4-2) will take the mound for Arizona. The 27-year old righty has won three of his last four outings and emerged as the D-backs’ most consistent starter in the first half of this season. He’s really only had three “bad” performances all year, but two of them have come against the Rockies, including the game on June 23 in which he yielded eight earned runs over just 4.2 innings. As good as his entire body of work for the season has been so far, it is worth noting that Anderson has allowed three home runs in each of his last two games.
The Rockies will counter with Kyle Kenrick (3-10). It’s been a rough year for the 30-year old, who has dropped three of his last four decisions. He’s also given up multiple home runs in five of his last seven starts. On the year, he’s sporting a 6.07 ERA and 1.44 WHIP.
In two starts against Arizona this season, Kenrick is 1-1 with a 10.45 ERA.