The Rockies put in a workmanlike effort to even the four-game series 1-1 at Chase Field. The Rockies drew the first blood with two runs in the first inning. After Pacheco and Gonzalez hustled smartly to move up the bases on a deep fly to center by Tulo, Cuddyer delivered a 2-out, 2-run single.
The defense started to get wobbly in the second inning. After a solo shot by Eric Chavez cut the Rox’ lead to 2-1, Nelson fielded a grounder with plenty of time and threw the ball offline putting a Sedona Red runner on second. Nicasio had a chance to erase the error without further damage when he got to two outs while holding a runner on third base. Alfred Marte, an 8-hole hitter, was up with the pitcher on deck. Yet, the Rox for at least the second time this season, decided to throw to him instead of passing on him to get the pitcher. For the second time, the strategy backfired as Marte laced a RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
The next inning Arizona with a man on third base did the run on contact tactic that never works when a hard grounder was hit to Tulo. But he threw the ball off target pulling Rosario off the plate and out of play. That was the second unearned run of the night for Nicasio, giving Arizona a 3-2 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Rockies tried to execute the small ball plays with little success but Tulo picked up the team with a bases clearing double to restore the Rox’ lead at 5-3. Brignac led off with an infield single. Nicasio put down a poor bunt hard and straight at the mound to force Brignac at second. The RWOers were complaining that the speed burners are not utilizing blazing speed to play small ball in the post game comments after the loss yesterday. Fowler took our message to heart and laid down a beautiful bunt for a single. Pacheco followed with a laser up the middle to get the bases juiced. CarGo who has been scuffling the last couple of weeks had a chance to bring home a tying run simply by putting the ball in play. He looked overmatched at the plate. Tulo bailed out the team to take a 5-3 lead that stood up the rest of the game.
Baby Bull deposited a two-strike curve ball in the seats in left center to tack on an insurance run, 6-3. Now it was up to the bullpen to finish the game in fine fashion. Josh Outman had a 1-2-3 shutdown inning in the bottom of sixth. He came back out for the 7th inning and started an inferno when he beaned Gregorius and gave up a double to Marte (yes, that 8-hole hitter again). Runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs presented a precarious situation with the inferno threatening to spread north to Colorado. Walt Weiss summoned fire fighter Matt Belisle to control the blaze. He induced a pop up from Cody Ross for the first out. After an intentional unintentional walk to Parra, Belisle hosed down Prado with another pop up. Up came Paul Goldschmidt the hottest hitter on the D-back team. Belisle pumped the fire extinguisher into the ember zone striking him out to end the inning.
Rex Brothers gave us a hiccup when he walked a .186 hitter to put two on, but he struck out tonight’s nemesis, Marte, to end the threat. Rafael Betancourt pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning for his eighth save of the season.
Nicasio picked up his third victory of the season. The Giants lost tonight allowing the Rockies to gain a game on our nearest pursuers (Giants & Diamondbacks) in the NL West standings.