Bumgarner’s gem, hot bats lead D-backs in snapping 3-game losing streak
PHOENIX – A masterful performance from Madison Bumgarner and sizzling bats led to the Arizona Diamondbacks (38-47) coming away with a 9-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies (37-48) at Chase Field on Saturday afternoon.
Bumgarner was in ace-like form for most of the game. After allowing a solo home run to Kris Bryant in the top of the first inning, the 32-year-old allowed just one more run the rest of the day.
He finished with 107 pitches over seven innings with 73 of them strikes and heated up as he went on.
Entering his final frame of work, he had just two strikeouts on the day. In the bottom of the seventh, he struck out all three batters he faced to emphatically finish his start.
With the win, Bumgarner improved to 5-8 on the season and his ERA dropped to a solid 3.65. It was the first consecutive wins for the D-backs’ starter since Aug. 3 last season.
“I just tried to be more aggressive in the zone today instead of trying to be so perfect from the get go,” Bumgarner said. “It’s funny it probably led to making better pitches doing that.”
D-backs third baseman Josh Rojas discussed Bumgarner striking out the side to end his start.
“That was sick,” Rojas said. “I think before that he was at like 94 pitches going into that inning. I didn’t know if he was going to go out. I know it’s been about his limit 94-100. So going out for that last inning, I wasn’t sure. I was hoping for the best. And then to sit them down like that – three strikeouts in a row was pretty sick.”
Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland did not have his best stuff Saturday, especially in the first inning.
He threw 25 pitches in the first, tossing just 13 strikes to his 12 balls. Arizona capitalized by scoring three runs on a Jordan Luplow RBI-single, a Christian Walker sacrifice fly and a Cooper Hummel RBI groundout.
After the Rockies made it a 3-2 ballgame on a Charlie Blackmon RBI double in the top of the third inning, the D-backs responded. Luplow hit his 11th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth and Rojas doubled in two runs in the seventh to give the D-backs a 6-2 lead.
Arizona continued the onslaught in eighth inning. Geraldo Perdomo hit a two-RBI single with two outs in the frame and Rojas cranked a RBI-ground-rule double to put the D-backs up 9-2. The double gave Rojas a .480 (12-15) average in July and raised his season average to .284.
“The balls have been dropping,” Rojas said. “My routine started to feel a little bit more consistent, a little bit better heading into Colorado. Actually, in San Diego – last day in San Diego, I kind of felt really good. Routine started to stay the same, which is when I know I’m going to be at my best because now I can focus on what pitches they’re throwing me and how do I want to attack the guy instead of thinking about mechanics.”
Arizona reliever Caleb Smith allowed two baserunners with two outs in the ninth but did not allow them to score.
The win snapped the D-backs three-game losing streak and kept them from falling into the cellar in the National League West.
“It was a really good response to something that hasn’t been going our way over the past three games,” said D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. “I think this team was a little frustrated walking in the clubhouse doors today and they went out and executed a really good game plan and made some statements all day long.”
The D-backs will be back at Chase Field looking for a series split with the Rockies on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Lefty Tyler Gilbert (0-3, 6.86 ERA) will start for the D-backs and righty Germán Márquez (4-7, 5.90 ERA) will start for the Rockies.