Rockies let lead slip against Diamondbacks
Leading the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks by three runs in the third inning, the Colorado Rockies looked as if they would solidify their hold on the NL wild card lead.
"And then nothing," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "That was the end of the road."
Gerardo Parra doubled in the go-ahead runs, and Brandon Allen and Ryan Roberts homered as the Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Rockies 7-5 Friday night, sending the NL wild card leaders to their fifth loss in six games.
Colorado entered with a 3 1/2 game lead over San Francisco in the wild card race.
Arizona has been out of contention for months, but the Diamondbacks didn't lay down after the Rockies jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Troy Tulowitzki's two-run shot in the third - the third straight game he's homered.
Arizona chipped away, and with the score tied at 4 and two outs in the seventh, Parra hit a deep fly down the right field line. After a long run, Brad Hawpe gloved the ball but dropped it before running into the fence, allowing two runs to score.
After Arizona starter Kevin Mulvey gave up four runs in four innings, Arizona's bullpen shut down the Rockies, retiring 12 men in a row at one point.
Leo Rosales (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh.
Juan Gutierrez gave up a run in the ninth but stranded the potential tying run at first base to pick up his sixth save in seven chances.
"Any time you ask your bullpen to come out and get five innings of relief, that's asking a lot of guys to do pretty well," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. "Everybody that threw tonight out of the pen was excellent."
Randy Flores (0-1) faced one batter, allowing Stephen Drew's leadoff single in the seventh, before Matt Daley relieved.
Both NL West rivals fired their managers early in the season, but the moves had sharply different results in the standings.
Arizona was 11-16 when it replaced Bob Melvin with Hinch on May 8, and the Diamondbacks quickly fell out of contention. Colorado was 18-28 when Tracy replaced Clint Hurdle 21 days later, and the Rockies soon turned their season around.
Early on, the Rockies looked refreshed after spending a day off in the desert. On Wednesday night, they snapped a four-game skid with a dramatic 4-3 victory at San Francisco, their closest pursuer in the wild card race.
In the opener of a three-game series with last-place Arizona, the Rockies took a quick 2-0 lead on a two-run, two-out single by Yorvit Torrealba in the first.
The Diamondbacks trimmed the deficit on Miguel Montero's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.
With one on in the third, Tulowitzki lined a 3-1 pitch into the left field seats to put the Rockies ahead 4-1.
Pitching with the Chase Field roof open on a 99-degree night, Rockies starter Jason Marquis struggled with his command. Four of the first six men he faced reached base, but only one scored.
Marquis seemed to find his groove in the second, starting a string of five straight strikeouts.
But Marquis ran into trouble in the fourth, giving up a leadoff double to Montero and an RBI single to Ryan Roberts. Marquis was one strike away from escaping the inning with no further damage when Allen hit a two-run shot into the pool area in right-center field to tie it at 4.
Marquis said he left a slider in the middle of the plate.
"I felt good with where I was at," Marquis said. "One mistake pitch gets hit out of the ballpark, costs you the game. I'm disappointed about the loss."
Marquis went six innings, allowing four runs on six hits. He walked five and struck out seven.
NOTES: In two starts for Arizona, Mulvey has allowed 10 runs and 15 hits in eight innings. ... Montero threw out Colorado CF Carlos Gonzalez stealing second in the second inning, snapping a string of seven straight successful stolen base attempts for Gonzalez. ... The Rockies fell to 38-38 on the road. Colorado has never had a winning road record.