DENVER (AP) — A comfortable win turned into a nail-biter, but Nolan Arenado made sure the Colorado Rockies finally prevailed at Coors Field.
Arenado hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, and the Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-7 on Wednesday to end a seven-game home losing streak.
Charlie Blackmon homered among his three hits and drove in three runs for Colorado. The Rockies had tied the franchise record for consecutive defeats at Coors Field and were within two of the mark for home losses in Denver set in 1993 at Mile High Stadium.
“That’s not like us,” said Arenado, who had three hits. “We’re way better than that.”
Arenado rescued Colorado after starter Chad Bettis and the bullpen blew a six-run lead. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Arenado hit Tyler Clippard’s 2-2 splitter just inside the foul pole in left field for his major league-best 13th homer of the season.
“He’s so clutch,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He rises to the occasion almost all the time. We get spoiled watching him. Big-time player.”
The Rockies threatened for more but Clippard (2-1) worked out of a jam.
Gonzalez Germen (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced, and Jake McGee pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
Yasmany Tomas had three hits and Paul Goldschmidt added two doubles for the Diamondbacks, who had won five straight.
The Rockies built a 7-1 lead on Blackmon’s solo homer in the third, his two-run single in the fourth and Ryan Rayburn’s double in the sixth that drove in two more.
Bettis retired 12 straight after Jean Segura’s double to lead off the game but ran into trouble in the seventh. Arizona started the inning with three straight hits and Bettis left after Chris Owings’ RBI single made it 7-4.
Two doubles, a triple and an infield single tied it in the eighth and took a win away from Bettis. He allowed four runs on nine hits and matched a career high with eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
“I was missing a little bit of location but they were also ambushing a little bit earlier, too,” Bettis said. “I wouldn’t say I got tired. We had a six-run lead and I was trying to collect outs. Guys got pitches to hit.”
Colorado, which had not won at home since beating the Dodgers on April 22, was on the brink of losing again when Arenado came through.
“You’re like, ‘Oh, man, I hope this doesn’t happen again,'” Arenado said. “They tied the game but they didn’t take the lead. That was the positive.”
Arizona starter Robbie Ray gave up five runs — three earned — and fanned a career-high nine in 4 2/3 innings.
Diamondbacks: OF David Peralta will see a hand specialist in Arizona on Thursday. Peralta has not played since Sunday because of a sore right wrist.
Rockies: INF Daniel Descalso (broken left hand) played in another rehab game and is getting closer to returning from the 15-day DL. “I’m not sure if it’s his last (rehab game) but things are going well for him,” Weiss said. … Weiss said C Nick Hundley (oblique strain) is making progress. Hundley was placed on the 15-day DL on Friday.
Goldschmidt’s RBI double in the sixth extended his streak of reaching base against the Rockies to 44 games. That tied him with Ryan Klesko for the third-longest against Colorado, and it’s the longest active streak in the majors against any team.
Some poor footwork led to Colorado’s two-run sixth inning. With Blackmon on first, Mark Reynolds hit a grounder to shortstop with two outs. Nick Ahmed went to Segura for the force at second, but he didn’t get his foot down before Blackmon slid in. Rayburn followed with a two-run double.
“When you play these shifts, the one thing that becomes difficult is when the second baseman gets on the other side of second,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “He’s trying to get to the base, see where the ball is. Nick even said, ‘Hey, I just should have thrown it to first base.'”
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (3-2, 5.15 ERA) will open a four-game series at home against San Francisco on Thursday. He is 8-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 5.40) goes for his first big league win when the Rockies host the New York Mets on Friday. Gray is 0-1 with a 1.38 ERA in his last two starts.
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