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Bounce-back 2019 for D-backs offense continues in win over Rockies

Colorado Rockies catcher Dom Nunez, front, looks on as Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker, center, celebrates his two-run home run with Ketel Marte in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Arizona Diamondbacks should have lost to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly gave up six earned runs, a mark that usually adds up to a defeat.

But down 6-3, the D-backs rallied, scoring five unanswered runs for a win.

The carrying of the load continued for the offense on Tuesday with three Arizona homers in the first inning against Colorado, part of a 9-3 win.

It’s a credit to the offense, obviously, which entered the season with massive questions about replacing Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. The consensus was the D-backs’ pitching was going to be the team’s strong suit, but it has been the opposite.

Prior to Tuesday’s action, the D-backs ranked top-10 in the majors for runs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

That’s quite the bounce-back season from last year’s rankings that included finishing 27th in batting average and 21st in OPS.

It’s happening from the top-down. There are the All-Star quality years for Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar that are earning a much-deserved spotlight, but also smaller names earning their keep, like a breakout season for Christian Walker and career-best numbers for Nick Ahmed.

On Tuesday, Jarrod Dyson didn’t make us wait long with the third leadoff homer of his career, all of which have come this year.

After David Peralta popped out, Marte walked to bring up Walker. The right-hander’s opposite-field shot to right just made it over the fence, bouncing off the top to make it 3-0 D-backs.

Jake Lamb singled, Josh Rojas flew out and then Ahmed homered to center for another two-run shot, putting the lead at 5-0.

It’s the seventh time in franchise history Arizona has hit at least three home runs in one inning and the only time they’ve done so in back-to-back days. The D-backs have never hit four or more in one inning.

Peralta decided he wanted in on the fun the following inning, with the D-backs’ third two-run homer of the game to score starter Zac Gallen, who reached on an infield single.

Gallen allowed one run in the first, making it a 7-1 scoreline after Peralta’s dinger.

Speaking of Gallen, it was about damage control for the right-hander.

Colorado batters reached at least twice on Gallen in three of his four innings, including four times in the first and three more times in the fourth.

Despite that, Gallen ended his outing with only two earned runs to his name. The trouble was those were a long four innings and Gallen threw 90 pitches, resulting in him pitching no further. His line ended at nine hits and one walk allowed through 4.0 innings on two earned runs with three strikeouts.

Luckily for Gallen, like Merrill Kelly the night before, the D-backs bullpen was ready to step up and fill out the rest of the game.

T.J. McFarland pitched a scoreless fifth and Kevin Ginkel threw two innings of one-hit ball to get Arizona six outs from a win.

In the eighth, RBI singles from Ahmed and Wilmer Flores bumped the D-backs run total to nine.

The Rockies got a run back off Yoan Lopez in the eighth via a Dom Nunez solo homer, but that was all for Colorado. Lopez closed out the ninth to make it two in a row for Arizona.

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