D-backs' Corbin beats Rockies in return from Tommy John surgery
With a big holiday crowd to cheer him on, Patrick Corbin was back on the mound.
And the only butterflies came before the game started.
Corbin threw five solid innings to get the win in his return from Tommy John surgery 15 months ago and the Arizona Diamondbacks made it three in a row over the Colorado Rockies with a 7-3 victory Saturday night.
"It's great to be back," he said. "You have a lot of emotions going. When they announced my name pregame the fans gave a pretty nice applause, that gave me some chills and some butterflies. After that I calmed down. I just wanted to go out there and don't overthrow, throw a lot of strikes and I felt like I was able to do that."
The 25-year-old left-hander, who had the surgery on March 25, 2014, allowed two runs, scattered eight hits, struck out three and walked none.
Making his first start since Sept. 27, 2013, Corbin threw 76 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Manager Chip Hale said he noticed no signs of extra nervousness from his pitcher.
"It seemed like a normal day for him," Hale said. "But it was way more than a normal day for us and I think for him now to get through this and feel good about it, and we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
A.J. Pollock doubled in two runs off Colorado's David Hale (2-4) to break a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning. Three consecutive bunts and a Rockies error led to three Arizona runs in the eighth. Three of the Diamondbacks' runs were unearned, thanks to a pair of Colorado errors.
Charlie Blackmon had an RBI double and D.J. LeMahieu a run-scoring single for the Rockies, who have lost four straight overall and seven of their last eight.
Hale, 0-4 in his last five starts, went five innings, giving up four runs, three earned, and five hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
The third straight bunt in the eighth, by pinch-hitter Cliff Pennington, was something the hitter did on his own, Hale said. First baseman Wilin Rosario fielded the ball and, seeing he couldn't get the runner at home, spun and threw to an empty first base. The ball sailed away and a second run scored.
Colorado manager Walt Weiss said the Rockies weren't surprised by the bunts.
"We didn't defend the bunt the last couple of nights," he said. "Our guys know how to defend bunts, just didn't do it the last couple of nights, nothing more than that."
Arizona botched a squeeze attempt in the fifth when Nick Ahmed's bunt bounced right to Hale, who threw to catcher Nick Hundley to easily get Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a rundown. Corbin's bunt advanced the runners, then Pollock's two-out double down the left-field line brought both home.
"It was right where I wanted it, and honestly it was what I wanted him to do, is hit a ground ball to the left side," Hale said. "Just found a hole."
Rosario's bases-loaded bouncer over pitcher Daniel Hudson's head for a fielder's choice scored a run to cut it to 4-3 in the eighth before Drew Stubbs' fielder's choice grounder ended the inning.
Leading off the game, Pollock reached on third baseman Nolan Arenado's third fielding error of the series, then David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt walked. Yasmany Tomas bounced one to shortstop but Goldschmidt slid hard into the legs of the second baseman LeMahieu to break up a potential double play as Pollock scored an unearned run. Jake Lamb followed with an RBI single.
Colorado tied it with two runs in the third.
Troy Tulowitzki doubled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 17 games.
The crowd of 42,113 was considered a sellout because some seats were kept empty so fans could move to see the postgame fireworks.
Rockies: Closer John Axford was activated from the family emergency medical leave list.
Diamondbacks: Arizona activated C Oscar Hernandez from the 60-day DL. The 22-year-old has been out all season with a broken hand.
Rockies: In a battle of De La Rosa's, Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa (5-3, 4.59 ERA) tries to keep up the momentum of a successful June, when he was 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA.
Diamondbacks: Rubby De La Rosa (4-3, 4.60) looks to complete the four-game sweep. It will be the 12th time that Arizona has tried to reach .500 since it was 8-8 on April 24. The Diamondbacks have lost the other 11.