Mark Melancon picks up save, D-backs rally late to win series over Rockies
PHOENIX — In a contest that almost mirrored game one of the three-game set, the Arizona Diamondbacks (48-59) rallied late and got a good performance from the backend of the bullpen in a 6-4 win over the Colorado Rockies (48-63) at Chase Field on Sunday afternoon to clinch the series victory.
With the game tied at 4-4, the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Rockies right-handed pitcher Alex Colomé (2-6, 4.04 ERA) balked in the eventual game-winning run.
D-backs shortstop Sergio Alcantara followed up with an insurance run via an RBI sac-fly to give Arizona a 6-4 advantage heading into the ninth frame.
And with All-Star LHP Joe Mantiply having already been used earlier in the ballgame and RHP Ian Kennedy unavailable after pitching back-to-back nights in the first two games of the series, reliever Mark Melancon came on to pick up his 15th save of the season.
It wasn’t an easy one-two-three ninth inning, however, as Melancon elected to walk Rockies slugger C.J. Cron with first base empty to load the bases with two outs in favor of a matchup with Colorado right fielder Randal Grichuk.
“We had a little bit of a situation there, I thought he stepped up and got the big out with Grichuk,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said postgame.
“But after the mound visit, it was kind of determined that we were going to pass on Cron. We felt like he was a guy to avoid in their lineup and he went out and executed a perfect pitch and got a big out and won the game. So I’m very happy Mark was available to do that for us tonight.”
Diamondbacks righty Zach Davies (2-4, 4.03 ERA) struggled early on in just his second start since coming off the injured list, but eventually settled down and at one point retired nine consecutive Rockies batters.
“Just kind of recognized their approach for the day and tried to work around that,” Davies said postgame. “It was leaving everything down in the zone alone and staying off offspeed pitches.
“Just trying to kind of work to combat that and got results and looked to flip the script of letting guys get comfortable in the box (by) just using the fastball in and out and up in the zone, throwing offspeed pitches in fastball counts — things like that.”
He finished the ballgame having only allowed four hits and two walks while striking out three in five shutout innings on 80 pitches (49 strikes) en route to a no-decision after leaving the ballgame in line for the win.
“It was a good building step for me being able to go 55-60 pitches to the 80-pitch mark,” Davies said. “When you’re building up like that, outs are important, so being able to get through the lineup and get as many innings as possible. Those are kind of the things that are on your mind at the same time as trying to build yourself up and getting back into a rhythm.”
All four of Colorado’s runs were scored in the sixth inning off RHP Kevin Ginkel, who failed to even record an out in his 23-pitch (13-strike) performance that featured two walks, two doubles and two singles.
“At a certain point and time, we needed some strikeouts and I felt like he’s the one true strikeout pitcher that I had in that moment,” Lovullo said. “And I felt like if he just got in a rhythm, he could start punching some guys out without allowing some runs.
“I just think his curveball was popping — the (Elehuris) Montero at-bat was certainly a sign that the curveball or the slider wasn’t working. The fastball velocity was there, I just think that he lacked a little bit of command. I was just looking for strikeouts, that’s the bottom line.”
Mantiply came on in relief and retired every hitter that he faced (four), with the fourth and final Rockies run on the day coming on a sac-fly that Ginkel was responsible for.
Right-handed pitcher Chris Devenski (2-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up his second win of the season with his 1.2 scoreless innings as the impromptu setup-man between Mantiply and Melancon.
“Zach Davies was fantastic for the five innings that he gave us,” Lovullo said. “His pitch count was fairly limited and we just turned it over to the bullpen.
“Things were going good with the exception of one inning and we did out job, everyone went out there and did their job the right way. … Overall felt like it was a good win for us. It was that close-out type of win in the third game of the series, we knew what we had to do and we went out there and executed. I’m very proud of these guys.”
And for the third straight game in the series, the Diamondbacks took an early lead by opening the scoring in the first frame. This time it was a two-run home run off the bat of first baseman Christian Walker to left field for his 26th dinger and 61st RBI of the season.
Christian Walker is now up to 26 HRs and 61 RBI for the #Dbacks this season.pic.twitter.com/pyBzGTsAYr https://t.co/NgGomXFmOw
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) August 7, 2022
The D-backs open up a four-game home series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Arizona RHP Zac Gallen (6-2 3.31 ERA) is scheduled to start against Pittsburgh RHP Tyler Beede (1-1, 3.89).