Tapia hits bases-loaded triple to lift Rox over D’backs 8-7
Tapia hit a tying, bases-loaded triple and scored the go-ahead run during a five-run eighth inning, and the Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-7 on Sunday.
The rally salvaged the finale of the three-game series and ended Arizona’s six-game road winning streak. Eduardo Escobar and Blake Swihart homered for the Diamondbacks.
The Rockies trailed 7-3 when they loaded the bases with no outs against reliever Archie Bradley (1-3). David Dahl walked on a full count and Tapia tripled to left, just beating the throw as he slid into third.
“That made my job a million times easier,” Ryan McMahon said. “He had an amazing hit, hustled his butt to third. When he did that, called him safe, all this weight came off my shoulder and made my job easier.”
McMahon made Tapia’s hustle worth it when he followed with an RBI single through a pulled-in infield.
“He plays an up-tempo game,” manager Buddy Black said of Tapia. “We want that out of him.”
Bradley struggled after allowing just one run in his last six appearances. Lefties were hitting .153 against him since May 2018, but the three he faced Sunday reached base, with Tapia capping it with his triple.
“I was trying to go up and in, and I think it was just middle-up,” Bradley said. “Really since the first hitter, just kind of really didn’t have good stuff and was just trying to make some pitches here and there. When you fall behind like, no outs, guys are going to be super aggressive and that’s what they did.”
Swihart came into the game hitting .071 but hit a two-run drive against starter German Marquez in the sixth to give Arizona a 5-3 lead. Marquez had tied it in the fifth with a two-run bloop single, but Zack Greinke worked out of the no-out jam without any further damage.
Arizona tacked on two more in the seventh before Colorado rallied.
“Fundamentally I think we broke down in the eighth inning and we ended up absorbing a tough loss,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
Marquez struck out nine over six innings but allowed five runs and seven hits.
Escobar’s home run leading off the second tied it at 1, and Arizona took a two-run lead in the third on an RBI double by David Peralta and a sacrifice fly from Escobar.
Diamondbacks: C Alex Avila (strained left quadriceps) will not need to go on a rehab assignment, Lovullo said. “In my conversations with him, he feels the at-bats that he gets in extended (spring training) are going to be sufficient. I trust him, he knows his swing, he’s told me along the way how he’s feeling.”
Rockies: LHP Jake McGee (left knee sprain) will throw a simulated game in Arizona on Tuesday before beginning a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday. … LHP Chris Rusin (mid-back strain) will start a rehab assignment Monday in Tacoma with Albuquerque followed by another outing on Wednesday in El Paso.
TROUBLE AT ALTITUDE
Arizona outfielder Adam Jones was feeling better Sunday after he left Saturday’s game feeling lightheaded. Lovullo said Jones was feeling the effects of the thin air and kept him on the bench Sunday. He said he is taking the same approach to playing at altitude as San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who frequently sat players when playing in Denver.
“It’s always a challenge coming up here, so it’s one of the reasons why I want to give guys days off here and days off coming out of here,” Lovullo said. “I know the Spurs have come up here and not played any of their five starters. I know Pop has done that on several occasions. He was the first to spot there wasn’t something up here.”
Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly (3-2, 3.60) will open a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday night.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-1, 4.03) will face San Francisco LHP Madison Bumgarner when Colorado’s homestand continues on Tuesday.