Dyson hits leadoff homer, Dbacks power past Rockies 9-3
DENVER (AP) — The usually sure-footed Arizona Diamondbacks made a couple of uncharacteristic base-running mistakes.
It didn’t matter. They found an easy way to around them — the long ball.
Jarrod Dyson homered on the second pitch of the game during a five-run first inning and was later involved in a quirky double play as the Diamondbacks cruised to a 9-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
It was Dyson’s third career leadoff homer — all this season. Christian Walker, Nick Ahmed and David Peralta added two-run homers off Jeff Hoffman (1-4), who was making an emergency start following Jon Gray’s scratch due to left ankle soreness. Hoffman surrendered seven runs over two innings.
“Dyson started the party,” said Ahmed, who’s homered in three straight games. “A leadoff homer is always great and hitting can be contagious after that.”
The strangest play of the night was on an inning-ending double play in the eighth that involved tagging out two Diamondbacks runners caught in rundowns. With runners on first and third, Dyson grounded a ball to first baseman Daniel Murphy, who trapped Ahmed between third and home. Ahmed was eventually tagged out and Dyson, who had broken toward second, eventually was tagged out going back to first.
The play was officially scored almost like a lottery ticket: 3-4-3-1-8.
“Good thing it didn’t cost us the game,” Dyson said. “We just learn from it and take the negative and fix it.”
Arizona also had Josh Rojas thrown out trying to steal.
“Outs are precious. I don’t like to give them up in any way,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We gave them an inning’s worth of outs on the base paths. That’s not what we do here. We’ll tighten that up.”
Ahmed finished a double shy of the cycle in sending the Diamondbacks to their fifth straight win over Colorado. They’re averaging 5.67 runs a game against Colorado since 2011, which marks the highest average of any team against a divisional opponent over that span.
This was a rough outing for the Rockies on “Bark at the Park” night at Coors Field, where fans brought their dogs and a pregame pup parade was held around the warning track.
Hoffman never got on track, surrendering three homers in the first. It’s the second straight game the Diamondbacks have posted a three-homer inning, which is a franchise first.
“It was a rough night for Jeff,” Rockies manager Bud Black explained.
Wearing teal-colored cleats, Arizona starter Zac Gallen threw four solid innings before his pitch count reached 90 and he was taken out. The right-hander allowed two runs in his second start for Arizona since being acquired from Miami on July 31.
Arizona’s bullpen turned in another solid outing, with Kevin Ginkel (1-0) earning the win by throwing two scoreless frames.
Rockies catcher Dom Nuñez hit a solo shot in the eighth to become the seventh player in franchise history to homer during his major league debut. Nunez had his contracted selected from Triple-A Albuquerque before the game.
“If you would have told me this was going to happen I would have said you’re crazy,” said Nunez, who had the home run ball retrieved after it landed in the Arizona bullpen. “But I’m happy it did.”
Rockies: Gray hurt his ankle when he slipped on the dugout steps in San Diego last week. Gray will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and could start Friday or Saturday.
Veteran catcher Chris Iannetta was designated for assignment Tuesday after spending parts of eight seasons with the Rockies. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader among catchers in games played (620), runs scored (252), home runs (80), RBIs (293) and walks (309).
The 36-year-old was hitting .222 with six homers this season.
“What a great Rockie,” Black said.
THE NEW FACE
Nuñez found out he was being called up when his Triple-A manager Glenallen Hill called a postgame team meeting in the clubhouse.
“He looked over at me and said, ‘Nunez, you’re going to the big leagues,'” he recounted. “The whole team erupted.”
Nuñez was picked by Colorado as an infielder in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. He switched to catcher the following season.
The 24-year-old had about a dozen family and friends in attendance.
Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray (10-7, 3.99 ERA) makes his fifth start this season against Colorado on Wednesday. The Rockies will counter with lefty Kyle Freeland (3-10, 7.06).