Reynolds leads Rockies’ comeback over Diamondbacks
PHOENIX (AP) Mark Reynolds’ days as the Colorado Rockies first baseman appear numbered with Ian Desmond about ready to return from a broken hand.
But Reynolds could very well make manager Bud Black’s decision on what to do when Desmond is ready a hard one with the way he has hit the ball this month. And on Saturday night, Reynolds produced again in a key situation.
Reynolds hit a tying two-run single with two outs in the ninth and Carlos Gonzalez scored the winning run on a wild pitch by Fernando Rodney, sending the Rockies to a wild 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Reynolds homered and drove in three runs, raising his batting average to .311.
”It’s obviously unfortunate what happened to Dez. He makes our team better and I think he’ll be back real soon,” Reynolds said. ”But I just want to make it hard for (manager) Buddy (Black) to take me out of the lineup. That was my goal when I got the job.”
Colorado trailed by five runs after five innings, but made the most of another rough performance by Rodney (1-2). The veteran reliever walked two and threw two wild pitches in blowing his second consecutive save chance, and was booed as he walked off the mound at the end of the inning.
”Everything that happened tonight, that’s part of the job. Closer is not an easy job,” Rodney said. ”I have my confidence for next time.”
Carlos Estevez (3-0) got the win with one scoreless inning and Greg Holland earned his 11th save for the Rockies, who have won the first two games of the three-game set between the top teams in the NL West.
Holland got help from a diving catch by former Diamondback Gerardo Parra on Chris Owings’ sinking liner to left field. He struck out Paul Goldschmidt with a runner on second base to end the game.
”I had a bad day hitting, so I wanted to do something with my defense,” said Parra, who struck out four times. ”When I jump to the ball, I feel 100 percent I will catch the ball. I’m so happy because we won. Great game.”
Zack Greinke struck out nine in six-plus innings, and Brandon Drury, Jeff Mathis and Jake Lamb homered to help Arizona build a 6-1 lead. Greinke gave up three solo home runs and seven hits.
The Rockies (16-9) moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Diamondbacks for first place in the division.
Lamb hit a towering two-run drive to right-center in the fifth that was measured at 481 feet, the longest home run in the majors this season, according to MLB Statcast. Drury and Mathis hit solo shots in the second against Tyler Anderson.
Yasmany Tomas doubled in two runs in the third inning to give the Diamondbacks a 4-1 lead.
Trevor Story and Alexi Amarista also homered for the Rockies. Story has hit eight of his 33 career home runs against Arizona.
”That’s a good lineup. It looks like Story is getting a little hot,” Greinke said.
Anderson was charged with six runs and seven hits in five innings.
The Rockies rallied in the top of the seventh. Amarista came on as a pinch-hitter to start the inning and hit his first home run in 251 at-bats. That was the end for Greinke, and the Rockies went to work against Arizona’s bullpen.
Charlie Blackmon scored on D.J. LeMahieu’s double off J.J. Hoover, a run charged to Andrew Chafin. After a walk, Hoover was removed for former Rockie Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado’s all-time wins leader with 86.
De La Rosa got Gonzalez to fly out to deep right, and Reynolds bounced into a double play to limit the damage.
STICKING WITH RODNEY
For now, it appears the Diamondbacks are sticking with Rodney as closer despite his 12.60 ERA.
”He has a proven track record. He is battle-tested,” manager Torey Lovullo said. ”We are going to do all we can to nurse him back to what he was prior to these last two outings. We’re going to be patient.”
With Archie Bradley’s strikeout of Tony Wolters in the eighth, the Diamondbacks became the first National League club to record 11 or more strikeouts in six consecutive games. The only other major league team to accomplish the feat was Cleveland in eight straight games from Sept. 16-23, 2014.
STOLEN BASE GOLD
Goldschmidt, with a stolen base in the first inning, has 25 consecutive stolen bases without a caught stealing, the longest active streak in the major leagues and the longest streak by a big league first baseman since data started being kept in 1974.
Rockies: Desmond played in an extended spring training game, moving closer to being activated from a broken left hand. Desmond has also gotten some looks in the outfield in his rehab and could be deployed there at times when he returns. ”He’s getting closer, closer than you think,” Black said, hinting that Desmond’s right-handed bat could be of service against Sunday’s left-hander for Arizona, Patrick Corbin.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller, after second opinions and doing his own research, announced he will have Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. He is out for the season. … Lamb returned to the lineup after dealing with an illness and being unavailable Friday. … OF Gregor Blanco played at Single-A Visalia on Friday night as he works his way back from an oblique injury.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (0-1) makes his second start of the season in the series finale against Arizona. He’s coming off allowing eight earned runs in a loss to Washington on Tuesday.
Diamondbacks: Corbin (2-3, 2.79 ERA) faces the Rockies. He’s 5-2 in 12 career starts against Colorado.