D-backs give up ninth-inning lead, get swept by Rockies
PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Colorado Rockies have had the Arizona Diamondbacks number over the last year, winning seven straight and 17 of the last 21 meetings entering Thursday.
They extended that streak to eight games in a heartbreaking 6-4 win over the D-backs in 10 innings, sweeping the three-game series at Chase Field.
Arizona’s offense was stagnant for most of the game, producing over four hits and one run over five innings. But after going 1-for 27 with runners in scoring position in this series, a pinch-hit, two-run home run by Christian Walker turned the tide offensively in a big sixth inning that put the D-backs up 4-3.
That lead would last until the ninth as the bullpen of Andrew Chafin and Yoan Lopez held strong in the seventh and eighth, but closer Greg Holland was unable to find the strike zone as he chased his 200th career save. He walked Ryan McMahon and Raimel Tapia, and then gave up a game tying RBI-single to Tony Wolters.
“I felt fine warming up, I got the first out quick, and then for whatever reason I lost the feel for the strike zone,” said Holland postgame. “That was kind of one of those games we should have won, we needed to win, and I let it slip away from us there, so I take responsibility for that.”
In the tenth, Yoshisha Hirano also had problems locating the strike zone. After loading the bases on two walks and a single, Chris Ianetta hit a 2-RBI single that gave the Rockies the lead and eventually the game.
“They’re a really good ballclub. Top to bottom of lineup can hit,” said D-backs starter Robbie Ray. “It seems like we’ve kind of run into them at certain points this year where they’ve been hot, and you know when you make mistakes to that lineup they make you pay for it.”
Ray attacked the zone aggressively, but it seemed to be feast or famine for him at times. After allowed a home run to Charlie Blackmon on the second pitch of the game, he got things back on track in the second inning with three consecutive strikeouts and then had a clean inning in the third.
But Ray struggled again in the fourth, allowing three walks in the inning and an RBI double to McMahon. He then gave up a solo home run to Ian Desmond in the fifth inning.
With that, Ray managed to keep the damage minimal. He went six innings, allowing four hits, five walks and three earned runs. He struck out nine.
Ketel Marte was a bright spot offensively, going 4-for-6 with two doubles and a run scored. This is his fourth game in a row with three or more hits, tying Paul Goldschmidt’s streak from June 5th-9th 2018 for the longest streak in franchise history. He has logged six three-plus hits games in his last 10 dating back to June 10.
Marte’s four hits matches his career high, and his 10 hits in this series ties a franchise record for a 3-game series set by Luis Gonzalez in 1999 and by David Peralta last season.
Despite the offensive issues as home, the D-backs have set a club record with 116 home runs through their first 76 games. The previous record of 109 home runs was set back in that magical season of 2001.
Nick Ahmed left the game with a left-hand contusion after being hit by a pitch in the wrist in the third inning. He was replaced by Tim Locastro, who made some fantastic defensive plays in center field in the seventh and eighth innings to help maintain the lead.
The D-backs will continue to battle through the NL West on their way to the All-Star Break. Their remaining 15 games of the first half are against division rivals, including seven games against the San Francisco Giants, five against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and three more against the Rockies.
On Friday, rookie Taylor Clarke will start against the Giants. Clarke is 1-2 in six starts this season in the majors with a 5.34 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.