The Colorado Rockies got off to a fast start, but were only able to manage one run the rest of the way Monday night, yet they held-on to run their 2015 road record to 7-3 with a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. Tyler Matzek (2-0, 2.70) got the win, but left after throwing one pitch in the bottom of the 6th, complaining of hamstring cramps.
Corey Dickerson singled with one out in the 1st. Troy Tulowitzki drew a 12-pitch walk from Dbacks starter Chase Anderson (0-1, 4.24) that gave Rockies’ cleanup hitter Justin Morneau plenty to analyze. Morneau took a 76 MPH curveball for a called-strike, then drove Anderson’s 2nd offering, a 91 MPH fastball, into the right-center-field stands. In the 2nd inning, Matzek and Charlie Blackmon singled with 2 out and Matzek came-around on a long single to center by Dickerson. Colorado had a 4-0 lead with 7 still to play.
Matzek threw 80 pitches over 5 innings. Arizona put 2 on in the 1st, and Mark Trumbo had a double in the 4th. They scored 2 in the 5th when the left-hander walked Tuffy Gosewich leading-off and Nick Ahmed singled. Anderson bunted them to 2nd and 3rd, then Gosewich scored on a ground-out by Ender Inciarte. AJ Pollock followed with a grounder up the middle yet into the Rockie’s shift, but he beat DJ LeMahieu’s throw by the amount of time it took for the throw’s impact on Morneau’s glove to reach 1st-base umpire Mike Winter’s ears. Ahmed scored to make it 4-2 Colorado.
The Rockies got the winning run in the bottom of the 5th when Tulowitzki led-off with a double, Morneau singled-him to 3rd and Nolan Arenado hit a sacrifice fly to center-fielder Pollock. Brooks Brown, who has become an extremely valuable guy as the bullpen continues to be stretched, came-on for Matzek in the 6th and logged 2 innings, surrendering a run in the 6th on a walk, a single, a wild-pitch and a ground-out. Brown shut the Dbacks down in the 7th, and Colorado gave-back another run in the 8th, when with Rafael Betancourt pitching and Trumbo on 3rd after another double and a ground-ball, Tulowitzki booted a Gosewich grounder that came right at him but took a funny hop.
That left it to Colorado’s latest closer, John Axford, to get them out of the 9th. With one out Inciarte singled to left-field. Pollock forced Inciarte at 2nd but Paul Goldschmidt drove Pollock to 3rd with a 2 out single, bringing the dangerous Trumbo to the plate. Axford tried a slider, and Trumbo bounced it to Arenado for the Rockies triumph.
The series continues in Phoenix on Tuesday with another 7:40 MDT start. Right-hander Eddie Butler will go for Colorado and promises plenty of excitement. Rookie righty Archie Bradley gets the call for Arizona.