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Carlos González hits two home runs, Rockies win 4-2 over Diamondbacks

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González’s offensive outburst backs strong start by Jon Gray

The CarGo Show continued against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night as Carlos González literally powered the Colorado Rockies to a 4-2 win thanks to his two two-run home runs. For September, González is 14 for 32 with only three singles sprinkled in with seven doubles and four home runs.

On the other side of the ledger, fine defensive plays by Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds backed a strong outing from Rockies starter Jon Gray. Rockies manager Bud Black also got creative with his bullpen usage in the ninth inning to seal the deal. It was the Rockies’ sixth straight win in what was perceived as a difficult road trip through their two most fearsome NL West rivals, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers.

Arizona was the first to grab the lead off of Gray. J.D. Martinez, who has been swinging a hot bat since joining the Diamondbacks, hit a long solo home run to center field in the bottom half of the second inning. However, the Rockies came right back in the top of the third; Charlie Blackmon drew a walk off of Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker and came home on González’s home run to right field, giving the Rockies a 2-1 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Diamondback tied it back up in the bottom of the third. Gray got himself into trouble by allowing back-to-back singles to his counterpart pitcher Walker and Wily Peralta, and then hit Chris Iannetta to load the bases with no outs. The Rockies righty then allowed a sacrifice fly to Jake Lamb that tied the score at two runs a piece, but he was able to exit the jam with minimal damage by getting Paul Goldschmidt to line out to Trevor Story, who promptly tossed it to DJ LeMahieu to double off Peralta.

The score remained that way until the top of the seventh inning. Walker was removed from the game to start the frame, having thrown 95 pitches, allowing four hits and five walks while striking out six. The Diamondbacks bullpen, which mixed and matched to questionable results culminating in Nolan Arenado’s home run Monday night, failed to work out again for the Snakes. After Andrew Chafin got Blackmon to line out to left field, right hander David Hernandez came on to pitch to LeMahieu and allowed a single. Hernandez remained in the game to face the lefty González, who deposited another souvenir into the right field stands for his second two-run home run of the night. That majestic stroke gave the Rockies a 4-2 lead.

Meanwhile, Gray had an excellent night. He threw seven innings, allowing just seven hits, and two runs while striking out ten Diamondbacks on 98 pitches. He gave way to Scott Oberg who threw a clean frame in the top of the eighth.

Interestingly, Bud Black let Oberg remain in the game to begin the bottom of the ninth in a save situation. Although he allowed a leadoff double to Martinez, he got A.J. Pollock to ground out. Black then brought in Chris Rusin who got Daniel Descalso to fly out to center field and Ketel Marte to ground out to second base to close out the game. Rusin earned his second save of the year, the other being a three inning “vulture” save on May 6th. It’s a form of bullpen usage we haven’t quite seen yet this year, but whether this was a matter of giving some guys like Greg Holland and Jake McGee some rest or testing out people in different roles for the playoff push, Black’s moves worked.

The Rockies go for the series win on Wednesday. Germán Márquez will take the mound for the Rockies against Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin and whoever else Phoenix has left to toss out of the bullpen. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 pm MST