Whether it was Charlie Culberson chasing his tail in left-field, or Jeff Francis throwing batting practice in the 8th inning, the Colorado Rockies turned-in an embarrassing 9-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday night at Chase Field in Phoenix. Shortly after the contest that fittingly focused on three Colorado veterans, Rockies legend Todd Helton announced his retirement from baseball in an interview with Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
36 year-old Roy Oswalt (0-6, 7.71) started and took the loss for Colorado. The right-hander did not pitch poorly, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and a walk in 4-2/3 innings. He should have made it through 5, but home-plate umpire Manny Gonzalez badly blew a strike 3 call on Oswalt’s fourth pitch to Paul Goldschmidt, then declined an obvious make-up-call opportunity on the seventh, Goldschmidt receiving an undeserved base-on-balls. Rockies manager Walt Weiss removed a heated Oswalt with the bases loaded, and Rob Scahill got a pop-up out of Martin Prado to quash the Arizona threat.
The Diamondbacks had moved-out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd when Miguel Montero singled and Matt Davidson doubled with one out. Gerardo Parra, 2 for 4 with 3 RBI, followed with a double that plated the runners. Parra victimized Scahill in the 6th with a second double that knocked-in Montero, on 2nd thanks to a Culberson pirouette in left-center field. Parra came around when Arizona starting pitcher Wade Miley (10-10, 3.70) delivered the third double of the inning, all of which tested the erstwhile infielder.
Colorado got it going in the 7th, scoring 2 when Wilin Rosario singled with one out and scored on a long double to straight-away center by the 40 year-old Helton. Helton came around on a Nolan Arenado single to right-field.
Mitchell Boggs gave the runs back to the Dbacks in the bottom of the 7th, then Weiss turned to the 32 year-old Francis in the 8th. With play-by-play announcer Drew Goodman waxing eloquent on the left-hander’s storied career as a Rockie, Francis proceeded to surrender singles to Didi Gregorius and AJ Pollock, a run-scoring double to Adam Eaton, a two-run single to Aaron Hill, and a walk to Prado. The immortal Jeff Manship came-on bail Francis out of the mess.
The 9-game road trip concludes this afternoon with a 2:10 MDT start at Chase. Jhoulys Chacin (13-8, 3.09) goes for the Rockies against Randall Delgado (4-6, 4.04) of Arizona.