ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Keuchel’s quality start, Kelly’s 3 RBI not enough as D-backs fall to Rockies

Jul 7, 2022, 11:03 PM
Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Colorado R...
Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field on July 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks (37-46) dropped another winnable game to a division rival on Thursday night, this time to the Colorado Rockies (36-47) by the score 4-3 in front of 11,727 fans at Chase Field.

The third outing was the charm for D-backs left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who picked up a quality start in his seven innings pitched in which he allowed three runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out four on 98 pitches (67 strikes) in his first seven-inning outing since July 9, 2021.

“Dallas was just plugging away and pounding the zone, working down in the zone,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “Got a ton of groundball outs. When you’re talking about a guy giving you seven quality innings, a quality start on 98 pitches — he’s done his job and just hand it over to the bullpen.”

Compare that to Keuchel’s first two outings for Arizona coming into the ballgame when he allowed 10 earned runs on 12 hits and six walks while striking out 10 batters in 9.1 innings pitched.

“Better. It’s kind of a tough assessment because I really feel like from the first start, gotten better in the second start — just kind of let a few walks and a few hitters counts get to me in Colorado,” Keuchel said postgame. “But overall I kind of felt like I was getting back to myself.

“Bullpen a couple days ago — kind of really felt like myself. It just kind of correlated into day three and day four and then warming up today, kind of felt the same. I knew if I could corral the strike zone early and try to get some early contact, it was going to be very, very beneficial to me. … I told myself coming into the start I didn’t want to walk anybody and just to go on the attack.”

The Rockies opened the game with back-to-back doubles by Connor Joe and Kris Bryant to start the scoring. Two batters later, a Brendan Rodgers RBI single up the middle scored Bryant to give Colorado an early 2-0 lead after just four plate appearances.

After Rockies starting pitcher Austin Gomber retired the first four D-backs hitters, a Buddy Kennedy double was followed up with a two-run home run to left field off the bat of Carson Kelly to tie the game at 2-2 after two innings of play.

Keuchel managed to settle down following the opening frame and even retired 10 consecutive batters, including a one-two-three inning in the second and third. But after getting the first two batters out to start the fourth, back-to-back hits by Randal Grichuk (double) and Ryan McMahon (single) gave the Rockies a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom half of the frame, Kelly continued his already productive night at the plate with an RBI single to left field that brought Christian Walker home to tie the game at 3-3.

“It was a nice day for Carson,” Lovullo said. “He’s been working really hard with his approach and with his swing. He got us right back into the ballgame.”

Gomber would only go one more inning and was relieved after allowing three earned runs on six hits (one home run) and one walk while striking out five Diamondbacks batters on 99 pitches (63 strikes).

Following four straight innings of goose eggs from both teams — which included a scoreless eighth frame from D-backs RHP Noe Ramirez — closer Mark Melancon came on in the top of the ninth in a non-save situation.

Colorado led off the inning with a Jose Iglesias single followed by another Grichuk double to score the eventual game-winning run for the Rockies at 4-3.

UP NEXT

The D-backs host the Rockies in the second of a four-game series on Friday at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Arizona RHP Zac Gallen (4-2, 3.40 ERA) is scheduled to start against Colorado RHP Chad Kuhl (5-5, 3.83 ERA).

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