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Sedona Red Recap: D-backs drop third straight home game

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt strikes out during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Friday, June 30, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Hitting the halfway point of the season with 50 wins is not to be ignored.

And neither should this: The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost three straight home games for the first time this season.

The D-backs limped to the 81-game mark after a 6-3 series-opening setback to the Colorado Rockies in front of 23,275 at Chase Field on Friday.

Charlie Blackmon and Raimel Tapia homered, while Ryan Hanigan and Mark Reynolds added a RBI in support of Jon Gray, the Rockies’ Opening Day starter who was making his return to the rotation after a stress fracture in his left foot put him on the sidelines on April 13.

Gray (1-0) went six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, including a Chris Owings home run, with one walk and 10 strikeouts.

Greg Holland earned the save, his 26th.

The Rockies had lost a season-long eight straight and six in a row on the road.

Owings homered twice—both solo shots, part of a 2-for-4 effort—but the D-backs failed to string together enough hits to mount any kind of an offensive attack.

Jake Lamb doubled in a run in the first inning to tie the game at 1, though from there, the D-backs played from behind the rest of the game.

Starter Robbie Ray (8-4) struggled with location. He walked five, two of which scored. He also surrendered a pair of home runs. Overall, Ray, who had won six straight decisions and not lost since May 9, allowed four runs on five hits and struck out nine in six innings.

He threw a career-high 122 pitches.

This is the fifth time the D-backs have lost three in a row, which matches a season-high.

THE GOOD

With two outs and facing a 3-2 count, Lamb ripped a ball that reached the center-field wall on a bounce. Gregor Blanco, running on the pitch, scored easily from first after a leadoff single. Lamb cruised into second base for a RBI double to tie the game at 1. He finished 1-for-4 and is now batting .322 (19-for-59) over his last 16 games.

Let’s put Owings’ home runs in proper perspective. He now has 11, or five more than his previous high of six set in 2014. And there are still 81 games still to be played. Owings hit a first-pitch fastball (95-mph) to leadoff the fourth inning and a 1-0 fastball (94-mph) with one out in the eighth inning. He’s now hit safely in 15 consecutive starts.

THE BAD

Before fans had settled into their seats, maybe even before many had parked their car, the D-backs found themselves down 1-0. On the third pitch of the game, Blackmon took a 96-mph fastball for a ride over the right-field fence. It was his 17th home run of the season, third to lead off a game; something he’s now down 25 times in his career.

Five of the first 14 batters Ray faced walked, including the first two batters of the third inning. And they both came around to score, putting the Rockies in front, 3-1. Tapia and Hanigan had RBI; the latter a single up the middle on a 0-2 pitch. The five walks tied a season-high reached two other times, most recently May 9 against the Tigers.

Recalled from Triple-A earlier in the month, Tapia added to his RBI total with a solo home run to leadoff the sixth inning. It was the first of his career and it came on a 0-1 slider clocked in at 83-mph. Ray now has surrendered multiple home runs in two of his last three starts, while the 13 he’s allowed on the season are the third-most on the team.

Just one of those nights for Paul Goldschmidt. They don’t happen often. He struck out in each of his first three at-bats—all three swinging, and one at-bat on only three pitches—and finished 0-for-5, dropping his average six points to .317. This is only the fourth time this season that Goldschmidt has struck out three times in a single game.

STAT OF THE GAME

0-for-7: The D-backs failed to record a hit with a runner in scoring position and are now 5-for-38 (.132) in their last four games

HE SAID IT

“I felt like I was around the zone, just missing, just barely. It was tough,” said Ray, who refused to blame home plate umpire Jerry Layne. “I got behind in counts, and they made me pay for it.”

NOTED

A.J. Pollock went 2-for-4 with two home runs in seven innings of play during a rehab start with Triple-A Reno.

Ray threw a first-pitch strike to 14-of-28 batters faced; plus, he reached a 3-ball count eight times.

Ray’s 122 pitches were the most by a D-backs pitcher since Trevor Cahill (126) on Sept. 29, 2012.

Blackmon is now hitting .519 (14-for-27) with three home runs and eight RBI lifetime against Ray.

Daniel Descalso went 1-for-2 with two walks and is now hitting .359 (14-for-39) over last 10 games.

Archie Bradley’s 12-game scoreless streak ended when he allowed one run in the seventh inning.

It took 30 minutes to finish the first inning as each pitcher needed 15 minutes to record three outs.

With a first-pitch temperature of 108 degrees, the game was played with the roof and panels closed.

UP NEXT

Double-digit wins are in sight for Zack Greinke as he takes the mound in game two of the three-game series. He and fellow right-hander Tyler Chatwood is the matchup on Saturday, July 1. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.

Greinke (9-4), who earned his 10th win on June 18 last season, is coming off a victory over the Phillies, though he pitched only five innings, the fourth time in six starts he’s failed to complete six innings.

This will be Greinke’s fourth start against the Rockies this season. He’s gone 1-1 with an ERA just under four (9 ER in 20.1IP). Over his career, Greinke is 8-5.in 23 games.

Meanwhile, Chatwood (6-8) has beaten the D-backs once already this season. Back on May 7, he held Arizona batters to one run on two hits in seven innings of a 5-2 win at Coors Field. His overall career mark against the D-backs is 5-2, including 2-0 in four starts at Chase Field.

Chatwood lost his most outing, losing to the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw with a 3.1-inning effort that saw him walk a career-high eight batters. Chatwood leads the majors in walks with 50.

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