If only for an afternoon, the Rockies shed their woeful road identity.
They even found their bats amid the scorching Arizona heat.
The Rockies pummeled the Diamondbacks, 9-3, on Thursday afternoon, snapping a two-game losing streak and improving their road record to 7-33. Their road mark, still the worst in baseball, was temporarily on the backburner as the Rockies seized the getaway game from the Diamondbacks to avoid a series sweep.
Rockies starter Chi Chi Gonzalez lasted five strong innings, allowing three runs on six hits with five strikeouts. He earned the win, and the Rockies’ bats more than rewarded the performance. Led by Dom Nunez’ three hits and two doubles, the Rockies smacked 13 hits in roughing up Arizona’s bullpen. No hit was more timely than Charlie Blackmon’s clutch RBI single before the Rockies broke the game open.
Now 38-50 overall, Colorado will open a weekend series against the Padres Friday night in San Diego.
In the seventh, the Rockies assembled something that’d largely eluded them all season, especially on the road: A crooked number. They blew the game open with a four-run inning, highlighted by a two-run, bases loaded double from Yonathan Daza. The knock snapped an 0-of-17 streak for the Rockies’ right fielder.
The rally, which also saw RBI hits from Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon, was temporarily marred when C.J. Cron took his second hit-by-pitch, this one to his head. Though he appeared OK, even flashing a smile to his teammates, Cron was pulled from the game.
Daza’s ensuing double gave the Rockies a comfortable 8-3 lead heading into the bottom half of the seventh.
Down 3-2, the Rockies responded in the sixth. Cron reached first on a hit-by-pitch then advanced to second on a groundout. With two outs, rather than pitch to Nunez, the Diamondbacks intentionally walked him to set up the force out and bring Gonzalez to the plate. But Rockies manager Bud Black yanked his starter, instead opting for Blackmon.
The veteran outfielder sent a fastball up the middle, tying the game at 3-3. Nunez, who advanced to third on the single, scored on Jordan Weems’ wild pitch, giving the Rockies a 4-3 lead.
Gonzalez appeared in total command until the bottom of the fifth when Arizona pinch-hit second baseman Andrew Young for starter Jake Faria. Young raked a double to deep center field, which was followed, two batters later, by a two-run homer from Josh VanMeter. It was one of the few mistakes Gonzalez threw all afternoon, and gave the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead.
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