Diamondbacks secure 9th-inning ‘limp-off’ win over Colorado Rockies
Jul 6, 2021, 11:34 PM | Updated: 11:58 pm
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — While it did require some unconventional ninth-inning heroics, another solid outing from Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly helped make it a clean sweep by Valley teams in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday with a 4-3 walk-off hit-by-pitch win over the Colorado Rockies.
David Peralta was 1-for-2 with an RBI double, two walks, and the game-winning hit-by-pitch that was called a “limp-off” win by D-backs announcer Steve Berthiaume.
Meanwhile, Kelly now has a 2.15 ERA in his last four starts. He has been the starting pitcher for three of the team’s last four wins.
“He’s been the guy that right now we’re turning to every fifth day. He’s been that stopper,” manager Torey Lovullo said on Kelly’s consistency.
“[Kelly] just following a game plan, executing pitches both sides of the plate, changing speeds,” Lovullo said. “He’s locked in. He’s throwing the ball extremely well for us.”
Kelly didn’t overpower the Rockies hitters, but he did get them to pop out all night. He had clean innings in the first and third, and he limited damage in the innings where the Rockies scored.
In the fourth inning, Charlie Blackmon singled and scored on an RBI double by second baseman Brendan Rodgers.
In the fifth, he gave up an RBI single to Ramiel Tapia that scored CJ Cron.
Outside of that, Kelly had another solid outing for Lovullo and the D-backs heading into the sixth inning, but his pitch count caught up to him before he could register his eighth quality start of the year.
He went 5.1 innings and surrendered six hits and two earned runs. He walked one and struck out one.
“It was OK, not my best,” Kelly said on his performance. “I didn’t feel great out there. I didn’t feel like the ball was coming out the way it has last couple of games, but I was definitely happy with the job that I did based on how I felt.”
“I was happy I was able to keep us in the game. Joe [Mantiply] did a huge job coming in there in the sixth inning and getting those two big outs after I came out. But yeah I was happy with the results based on how I felt for sure.”
Mantiply did a nice job in relief of Kelly, getting two critical outs in the sixth inning once he left the game with two men on.
The D-backs bats were hot early. In the first inning, they hit four doubles in a row with three runs across home plate before they registered their first out. Rojas kicked things off with his leadoff double, followed by RBI doubles by Peralta, Eduardo Escobar, and Christian Walker.
However, after the first, their bats went ice cold, and they were held to just two singles and three walks over the next seven innings.
The lack of additional offense allowed the Rockies to stay in the game and eventually tie it in the seventh inning on an RBI single by centerfielder Yonathan Daza.
The scoring drought lasted until the bottom of the ninth when Stephen Vogt singled to lead off the inning.
After Daulton Varsho and Rojas both walked to load the bases, it came down to Peralta with one out. On a 1-1 count, Rockies reliever Daniel Bard hit Peralta with a pitch, giving him the free base and scoring pinch-runner Stuart Fairchild to secure the walk-off win.
“It was a great moment in the dugout, it was great moment for these guys. They deserve to win this game and we executed,” Lovullo said of the win.
“We built the inning, so it was more about the guys before him that got on base. Stephen with the leadoff base hit, and then we just had some patient approaches to build that inning. A couple of young hitters with some really good at-bats to build it, and then it was up to David to execute and he did.”
“Look, a win is a win. You’ll take it any way you can. He got hit by a pitch and did his job in that situation, and that’s the bottom line.”
The D-backs will look for their first series win since winning three out of four against these same Rockies on May 2. First pitch for Game 2 is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. on a Wednesday night, with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Humberto Castellanos will make his first career start for Arizona. He is 0-1 with a 3.09 ERA, 10 strikeouts and a 1.200 WHIP in seven relief appearances this season.