D-backs rally late, stave off Rockies' sweep

D-backs rally late, stave off Rockies' sweep

Published Apr. 21, 2013 5:43 p.m. ET

DENVER (AP) -- Days after making a smashing debut with the Diamondbacks, Didi Gregorius had quite an encore.

Gregorius hit his second major league home run and singled to start a two-run rally in the ninth inning that led Arizona over Colorado 5-4 Sunday and stopped the Rockies' eight-game winning streak.

Gregorius, who homered Thursday at Yankee Stadium on the first pitch he saw with the Diamondbacks, started a comeback from a 3-0 deficit when he homered against Juan Nicasio leading off the fifth.

"I am battling every at-bat," said Gregorius, who was acquired from the Reds as part of the three-team Trevor Bauer trade in December. "I work each day to prepare for every game. I never give up."

In his first three games with the Diamondbacks, Gregorius has gone 6 for 11 with a pair of homers and a double.

"He sees the ball well," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He has a real good approach with two outs. He's a tough out. He doesn't surprise me. We thought a lot of him, obviously. We traded him for him."

Colorado led 4-3 when Gregorius singled leading off the ninth against Wilton Lopez (0-1). A.J. Pollock doubled on a chopper over third baseman Jonathan Herrera, and pinch-hitter Alfredo Marte grounded out to third, driving in Gregorius with the tying run. Gerardo Parra followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to put the D-backs ahead.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before the game that he hoped to avoid
using closer Rafael Betancourt for a third straight day, which resulted
in Lopez pitching the ninth.

Heath Bell (2-0) had pitched a scoreless eighth to keep the Diamondbacks within a run. The Rockies put runners at the corners in the ninth before J.J. Putz got Eric Young Jr. to hit a game-ending comebacker for his third save in five chances.

"The whole bullpen gave us a chance," Bell said. "Matt Reynolds did well before me. And J.J. after me. We wanted to keep the ball down. The Rockies were on fire, and we knew we had to make pitches."

The D-backs improved to 6-0 in getaway games this year.

Colorado lost for the first time in nine games at Coors Field.

"This is a good team, and we battle every single game," said the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez, whose two-run single boosted his league-leading RBI total to 21.

"If you're going to lose your winning streak, it's better to do it the way we did today, playing good baseball," Gonzalez added. "We just had one bad inning at the end. Our closer was not available today, but I know that Wilton is going to get better. He's just having a bad start. But he's done it in the big leagues. He's going to pitch well."

The Rockies had a bit of a spring training feel in the middle innings judging by uniform numbers. Adam Ottavino, No. 0, relieved starter Nicasio in the fifth, and Josh Outman, No. 88, got the last two outs of the seventh.

Colorado strung together four consecutive singles in the third off Brandon McCarthy, building a 3-0 lead on Jordan Pacheco's RBI single and Gonzalez's bloop two-run single that dropped into shallow center field.

McCarthy allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings.

Nicasio struggled with his control despite not allowing a hit until the fifth. He threw 49 pitches in the first two innings, when he walked three and went to three-ball counts on two other batters.

"I need more command of my fastball," Nicasio said. "I've thrown like 90 pitches in the last three games and only gone five innings. I've got to go deeper in the game."

Gregorius homered off Nicasio to start the fifth for the Diamondbacks' first hit, and Pollock's single and Parra's one-out double chased Nicasio from the game. Martin Prado then reached on a comebacker to Ottovino, who tagged out Pollock after the runner broke for home, and Paul Goldschmidt followed with an RBI single that cut the gap to 3-2.

Troy Tulowitzki homered on a 1-2 pitch leading off the sixth, and with six home runs already, he is just two shy of his total from last year.

Cody Ross hit a two-out RBI double off the right-field wall in the eighth against Matt Belisle to get the D-backs back within one going to the ninth.

NOTES: Eric Young Jr. caught the ceremonial first pitch from his younger brother Dallas and his father, former Rockies player Eric Young, on the day the club honored the senior Young with a bobblehead giveaway. ... The Diamondbacks return home to face the the Giants on Monday, with LHP Wade Miley (2-0) slated to pitch the opener against Ryan Vogelsong (1-1).