Career nights for Ahmed, Escobar give D-backs 3rd win in a row
PHOENIX — In a back and forth affair on Tuesday, Nick Ahmed and the Arizona Diamondbacks were able to win their third game in a row at Chase Field — and their seventh out of the last eight against the Colorado Rockies — by a score of 8-7.
David Peralta was 3-for-5 with a double and run scored, Eduardo Escobar made franchise and MLB history and Ahmed set a new career high for home runs and matched a career high for RBIs in the win.
After losing his last three starts, starting pitcher Alex Young looked to bounce back in his 10th appearance of the year. The last time he faced Colorado, he threw six innings of hitless baseball before being removed due to pitch count.
While his no-hit bid was ruined in the first inning by a Trevor Story double that barely landed on the foul line, Young was very efficient early, needing just 27 pitches to get through the first three innings.
After being held hitless themselves for the first two innings, Ahmed put the D-backs on the scoreboard first with a solo home run to lead off the third inning. It was Ahmed’s 17th of the year, which is a new career high for the shortstop.
Meanwhile, Young wasn’t as efficient the second time through the lineup. He allowed Story to reach again to lead off the fourth inning, but this time Nolan Arenado made him pay for it with a two-run home run to give the Rockies the lead.
The offense immediately picked him up in the bottom half of the fourth, loading the bases with no outs and scoring runs on an Adam Jones RBI single and an Ahmed sac-fly RBI. This was Ahmed’s 70th RBI of the season, matching a career high in that category.
The Rockies tied the game up in the sixth inning via a Story RBI single that scored pitcher Kyle Freeland. Story was a problem for Young and the D-backs all night, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Young gave the D-backs exactly what they needed from starting pitching. The rookie hurler went 6.0 innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs in his first win since July 27. He had four strikeouts and one walk.
“Alex Young today was controlling the counts, he was getting some quick, easy innings by pounding the zone, and got a lot of swings early,” said manager Torey Lovullo. “That’s a key ingredient for his success.”
The D-backs wrapped the game up in the sixth inning with five runs plated. Jake Lamb had a pinch-hit two-RBI single that gave Arizona the lead, and Escobar drove in two more with a two-RBI triple, giving the third baseman 100 total RBIs this season. He is the first NL switch-hitter with 100 RBIs since Chase Headley did it for the Padres in 2012.
And that’s not all. Escobar’s 10th triple of the year makes him just the third player in franchise history and the 10th switch-hitter in MLB history to have 20-plus home runs, 20-plus doubles and 10-plus triples in a season.
When asked about getting to the 100 RBI mark, Escobar admitted that he never saw himself getting to this achievement in his career.
“It’s a lot of RBI,” he joked. “For me, I’m so happy. But the most important is to win today.”
The Rockies added runs in the seventh and ninth innings to make it a one-run game, but Archie Bradley was able to convert his sixth save of the season to secure the win.
The D-backs will try to keep this momentum rolling as they take on Rockies pitcher Jon Gray in game three on Wednesday before hitting the road to Milwaukee on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on ESPN 620 AM.
Mike Leake will start for Arizona and has been having a rough stint since being acquired from the Mariners on July 31. As a member of the D-backs starting rotation, Leake is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in three starts and has allowed 29 hits in 16.1 innings. He is 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA in six career starts against Colorado.