PHOENIX — So the ball was handed to left-hander Patrick Corbin on Wednesday afternoon, and he was charged with doing something the prior two Arizona Diamondbacks starters could not: win, or at least quiet the Colorado bats.
Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, the pair of big-ticket items acquired in the offseason that pushed Corbin down to No. 3 in the rotation, surrendered a combined 13 earned runs, the most allowed in the first two starts of a season in D-backs history, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Corbin fared better, but not much better.
Trevor Story (yeah, him again), D.J. LeMahieu and Ryan Raburn each had home runs off Corbin as the Rockies beat the D-backs 4-3 to win the season-opening three-game series.
The game was played before an announced crowd of 18,572 at Chase Field.
Story hit a two-run homer in the first inning — his fourth home run in three games — while LeMahieu and Raburn added solo shots in the third and seventh innings, respectively.
Corbin (0-1) went seven innings — which was needed — allowing four runs on eight hits, three of them homers. He struck out six.
His counterpart, Tyler Chatwood, who was pitching in a Major League game for the first time since April 29, 2014 (coincidentally against the D-backs at Chase Field) after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, limited to the D-backs to two runs — one earned — on seven hits through 6.1 innings.
Both of the D-backs’ runs off Chatwood (1-0) came in the second on a Chris Owings RBI fielder’s choice and David Peralta run-scoring ground out.
Nick Ahmed added a solo home run in the ninth for the final margin of defeat.
In dropping two of three to the Rockies, the D-backs gave up 10 home runs, nine by the starting rotation.
Though just one ball made it to the outfield, the first five D-backs hitters reached base to open the third inning with two coming all the way around the diamond to score the team’s first two runs. Corbin (infield single) and Ahmed (base hit to right) opened the frame and then were driven in by an Owings fielder’s choice and Peralta ground out, respectively; the latter of which pulled the D-backs to within a run, 3-2.
Two of the eight D-backs hits belonged to Jean Segura, who followed up an impressive Cactus League effort with perhaps an even more impressive opening series. In the three games, Segura batted .429 (6-for-14) with a triple, home run, three RBI and two runs scored. The three RBI in the D-backs win Tuesday, by the way, matched a career high. Segura’s .469 spring average ranked second in the Majors.
With his one-out solo shot in the ninth inning, Ahmed joined Segura with two hits on the afternoon. They became the seventh and eighth hitters in D-backs history to record a pair of hits in each of the first three games of the season. The six hits through three games are tied for fourth-most in team history by a hitter to begin a season. Ahmed batted .545 (6-for-11) with a double, home run and two RBI in the series.
Two batters and four pitches into the game the Rockies took a 2-0 lead on Story’s two-run home run, his fourth homer in three games against the D-backs. Story laced a 92-mph fastball over the wall in left-center, scoring LeMahieu, who led off the inning with a single to right. For Story, he made history, becoming the only player who has debuted since 1900 to homer in each of his first three career games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Two more balls left the field: LeMathieu took Corbin deep in the third and Rayburn in the seventh inning. LeMahieu’s one-out solo shot was his second of the season, and it came on a 1-0 pitch, an 84-mph changeup that he desposited several rows deep in left field to make the score 3-0 Rockies. Rayburn hit his first of the season, and it came on a 1-2 pitch, a 92-mph fastball that scrapped the left field wall and put the Rockies in front 4-2.
STAT OF THE GAME
10: The number of home runs the Rockies hit in the series, nine of which came off D-backs starters
HE SAID IT
“It just seemed like every mistake that we made in this series was a home run; not a hit, but a home run,” manager Chip Hale said. “Unfortunately the mistakes [Corbin] did make went out of the ballpark, and today we weren’t able to make up for it; and I thought he did a good job, though. He was able to pitch deep into the game, which is what we ask our starters to do and he gave us a chance to win the game.”
Corbin threw a first pitch strike to 16 of the 26 batters he faced, while Chatwood got ahead 0-1 to 20-of-28, including 15 of the first 17
Paul Goldschmidt, 0-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch and walk, reached base safely for a club record-tying 38th straight game against the Rockies
Brandon Drury (1-for-4) and Chris Hermann (0-for-4) each made their first starts this season. For Drury, it was his first career start in left field
The homestand continues with a visit from the Chicago Cubs, considered by many experts to not just be playoff contenders, but the likely National League representative in the World Series.
A pair of right-handers take the mound in the series opener.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. John Lackey is the matchup on Thursday, April 7. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
This will be De La Rosa’s season debut. A year ago, he established career highs in virtually all categories in his first season with the D-backs, going 14-9 with a 4.67 ERA, and became one of only four pitchers with 14 or more wins in their first season in Arizona, joining Randy Johnson (17 in 1999), Dan Haren (16 in 2008) and Andy Benes (14 in 1998).
Meanwhile, Lackey enters his 14th big-league season and first with the Cubs. He spent the previous year-and-a-half in St. Louis following a trade with Boston.
Lackey was 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA in a career-high tying 33 starts in 2015.
The D-backs went 2-4 against the Cubs last season with both the wins coming at Chase Field, where the home team has won six of its last seven meetings with Chicago.
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