Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley (2-3, 5.36) had been undefeated in 9 careers starts against the Colorado Rockies, but Monday night in Phoenix they rolled-in off of a series win in Los Angeles and used a 3 for 3, 3 RBI night by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to eventually swamp the Dbacks 8-5 in the opener of a 3-game set at Chase Field. It was a back and forth affair. Arizona matched Colorado leads in the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th innings before Colorado got a pair of home runs to put the game out of reach in the 6th.
The Rockies got things started when Tulowitzki doubled with 2 out in the 1st. Slumping left-fielder Carlos Gonzalez followed and sliced a 3-2 Miley slider to the right of Dbacks center-fielder AJ Pollack for a double of his own and Tulo scored easily. Colorado starter Franklin Morales (3-1, 4.40) got out of the 1st unscathed despite singles by Martin Prado and Paul Goldschmidt, but in the 2nd Gerardo Parra took him yard with a line shot into the right-field seats.
The Rockies came back at ’em in the 3rd. Morales reached on a 1-out infield single and moved-up on a sacrifice by Charlie Blackmon. Miley walked Brandon Barnes and then Tulowitzki delivered his 2nd double in as many at-bats, plating both of the runners. But Morales did not have the command that got him through 7 innings a week ago, and Arizona tied it at 3-3 when Prado walked, Goldschmidt bounced a ground-rule double into the pool, Miguel Montero hit a sacrifice fly, and Aaron Hill singled to center.
In the 4th Colorado Gold-Glove 3rd-baseman Nolan Arenado led-off with a double to extend his hitting streak to a Major League leading 18 games, and he made it 4-3 Rockies on a 1-out double by catcher Jordan Pacheco, in for Wilin Rosario, who has, yes, a hand injury. Morales worked-around a lead-off single in the 4th, and Colorado went 1-2-3 in the 5th, but Prado, who was 2 for 3 with 2 walks, tripled leading-off the bottom of the inning, then tied it-up on a ground-ball from Goldschmidt.
That was it for Morales, who turned-in a lackluster 5 inning/4 run/7 hit/2 walk and 2 strike-out line (99 pitches, 57 strikes). But Tulowitzki got him a win with a towering solo home run leading-off the 6th, and 2 batters later Justin Morneau also took Miley deep, with Arenado aboard, and the Rockies moved-out to a 7-4 lead that would suffice for the victory.
Colorado used 4 relievers to close things-out. Tommy Kahnle, “Rule 5,” handled the 6th. Zero, no longer 0.00, gave-up 1 in the 7th. Boone Logan turned-in a 1-2-3 8th. The Rockies got an insurance run in the top of the 9th when DJ LeMahieu, a poor hitter, led-off with a double, moved to 3rd on a pinch single by Corey Dickerson and scored on a sacrifice fly by Blackmon, who made news by going hitless. And then it was the Hawk, dispatching 3 Diamondbacks, including a strike-out of Prado, to log save number 8. He’s 8 for 8.
The Rockies are now 3-1 on this NL West road trip. Arizona will throw rookie right-hander Mike Bolsinger at them tonight, as Donald Rumsfeld would say, a “known unknown.” Tyler Chatwood goes for Colorado. Game time is again 7:40, and the roof at Chase should be open.