DENVER (AP) Wilin Rosario is trying to end a disappointing season with a strong finish.
He got off to a good start in the Colorado Rockies’ fight to stay out of the cellar.
Rosario hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Rockies rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 on Thursday night.
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Rosario finished with four hits to lift the Rockies into a fourth-place tie with Arizona in the NL West.
”He’s been through a challenging year but he’s worked hard and he has a great attitude,” manager Walt Weiss said. ”He’s battled through some physical things. It’s good for Wilin. It’s a big night for him.”
Corey Dickerson led off the ninth with a single against Addison Reed (1-7). Two outs later Rosario, hit a towering drive an estimated 447 feet into the seats in left on the first pitch to give the Rockies their third straight win.
Rosario raised his arms triumphantly after the first walk-off home run of his career.
”I hit the ball good. I got that pitch up in the zone and I did my thing. When I see the outfielder running back hard I said, `If he catches it we lost. If it hits the stands we win.”’
The Diamondbacks blew a five-run lead to deny starter Vidal Nuno his first win since coming to Arizona in a July 6 deal with the New York Yankees. Nuno allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out eight in 5 1-3 innings.
”I felt bad for Nuno. He pitched very good for us,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. ”We couldn’t hold him. And finally got walked off.”
LaTroy Hawkins (4-3) pitched a perfect top of the ninth.
Michael Cuddyer homered among his three hits for the Rockies.
Jordan Pacheco and Ender Inciarte each had two hits and two RBIs for the Diamondbacks. Arizona came into the weekend series a game ahead of Colorado, which has been in the cellar since the All-Star break. The Rockies are trying to avoid a third straight last-place finish.
”It’s been a tough year for the team in general. Right now we showed us and the world we can play baseball here,” Rosario said. ”We come back, we fight, we do everything we have to, and for me that’s finishing strong.”
Colorado rookie Yohan Flande was pulled after five innings and failed to get his first win in his ninth major league start
Arizona fell behind 1-0 on Cuddyer’s eighth home run leading off the second. Inciarte’s two-run single in the third gave the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead, and then they scored four more in the sixth.
The Rockies made it close with two runs in the sixth and two more in the eighth. Josh Rutledge lined out to right with two on and two out to end the eighth.
WALKING THE WALK
Rosario’s game winner may have been his first walk-off home run but the Rockies have had plenty of success in their last at-bats. It was the ninth time this season they’ve won on a walk-off hit and the fourth time it has come on a home run. Drew Stubbs was the last to do it when he hit a three-run shot against Cincinnati on Aug. 17.
HARD LUCK PITCHER
Nuno has pitched well enough in 12 starts for the Diamondbacks to earn a win, it just hasn’t happened. Before allowing six runs to San Diego on Sept. 12 he had gone five starts allowing two runs or fewer. Still, he hasn’t been able to crack the win column in the NL.
Diamondbacks: RHP Daniel Hudson will be shut down for the rest of the season. He pitched an inning in relief against San Diego on Sept. 3 after missing more than 26 months due to two Tommy John surgeries. He had two more relief appearances and manager Kirk Gibson he had no setbacks. ”Not because of an injury, just because he’s come back from a long rehab process,” Gibson said. ”We were thinking four appearances (and) he got through three. Liked what we saw.”
Rockies: 3B Nolan Arenado is done for the year because of a bruised chest and pneumonia. ”That pneumonia is going to zap him for a while,” manager Walt Weiss said. ”Even when he’s feels like he’s ready to go, he is going to be short-winded out here.”
Diamondbacks: RHP Chase Anderson (9-6) will make his final start of the season. He held the Padres to two runs in five innings Saturday and has now logged a career-high 148 1-3 innings.
Rockies: RHP Jordan Lyles (6-3) will try for his first career win against the Diamondbacks. He is 0-2 in five starts against them, three while he was with Houston.