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Jon Gray is good, Rockies snap skid with 6-3 win

Raimel Tapia hit his first major league home run in the victory.

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If you had said on Opening Day that Jon Gray would get his first win of the season on June 30th to snap an eight game losing streak, any Rockies fan would have envisioned a dire season. Fortunately the Rockies are still in pretty good shape, and they improved to 48-34 after Friday night’s victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Gray went six strong innings and the offense had its best day in almost two weeks, despite some early missed opportunities.

Charlie Blackmon started this game the same way he started the last meeting between the two teams, with a lead-off home run to right field. It was his first home run (and first extra base hit) since then. Then Ian Desmond singled, Nolan Arenado walked and the Rockies had two on with nobody out. They failed to score.

Gray had an uneven first inning in which he allowed a run on a Jake Lamb double, but struck out three - including Rockie Killer Paul Goldschmidt on three pitches.

The Rockies put two on with two outs in the second, but Nolan Arenado popped the first pitch he saw into foul ground in right field and another opportunity was squandered.

Robbie Ray struggled with his control all night, and he started the third inning with two walks to Mark Reynolds and Trevor Story, which resulted in a run scoring after two weak ground balls by Pat Valaika and Raimel Tapia. Then Ryan Hanigan singled to center on an 0-2 pitch to give the Rockies a 3-1 lead.

Arizona got a run back when Chris Owings hit a solo home run on Gray’s first pitch of the fourth inning. Gray allowed more traffic in the inning but got out of it with a 3-2 lead.

In the fifth, Gray struck out Paul Goldschmidt for the third time. All three came on sliders low and away that Goldschmidt chased.

Raimel Tapia led off the top of the sixth with his first major league home run, which put the Rockies up 4-2. Robbie Ray made it through six innings for Arizona on a career-high 122 pitches.

Jon Gray got his ninth and tenth strikeouts in a scoreless sixth inning and finished his night allowing two runs on seven hits with just one walk and 102 pitches thrown. He worked with traffic in most innings and mislocated some pitches, but overall it was a strong return for Colorado’s ace.

Nolan Arenado hit his fifth triple of the season in the top of the seventh, and he scored when Jake Lamb couldn’t handle a soft ground ball off the bat of Mark Reynolds. That error made it 5-2 Rockies.

Reynolds made a spectacular diving stop to rob Paul Goldschmidt of a hit in the bottom of the seventh and help Chris Rusin work a clean inning.

In the top of the eighth Raimel Tapia tacked on another run when he doubled and scored on a Jorge De La Rosa wild pitch.

Mike Dunn entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and served up a long solo home run to Chris Owings, who got to trot around the bases for the second time on the evening. He gave way to Adam Ottavino, who got one out before walking Daniel Descalso. The third pitcher of the inning was Jake McGee, who gave up a 400-foot fly ball to Chris Herrmann that was caught on the track by Charlie Blackmon to end the threat with the score 6-3 Rockies.

That would be the final score, as Greg Holland worked a scoreless ninth to seal the team’s first victory in ten days.

With the gorilla off their backs, the Rockies will try to make it two in a row tomorrow night when Tyler Chatwood (6-8, 4.32) goes against Arizona ace Zack Greinke (9-4, 3.08) at 8:10 MDT.