This win didn’t come easy. In fact, it came loaded with ninth-inning stress where Daniel Bard surrendered a run and loaded the bases with the tying run at third, but Bard got Nick Ahmed to strike out to seal the win and his third save of the season. Nolan Arenado had two RBI doubles and scored two runs and Trevor Story tripled, singled, and scored two runs to lead a Rockies offense that was fueled by rallies in the first and seventh innings. A solo homer by Garrett Hampson in the fourth also helped. The game marked the official halfway point of the 2020 season for the Rockies, and despite a skid of losing 10 of 12 games, the current two-game winning streak has the Rockies playing .500 baseball (15-15).
Bard Shines on Save Stage
Daniel Bard entered in the ninth with a two-run lead and things looked good for the Rockies. Then Bard walked Kole Calhoun. The stress started. Bard then struck out Ketel Marte and the stress subsided. Starling Marte hit into a fielder’s choice, staying at first base, but resulting in two outs. The stress disappeared. Then David Peralta doubled, Starling Marte scored cutting the Rockies’s lead to one and the stress remerged. Bard then hit Christian Walker and walked Eduardo Escobar, loading the bases and sending stress levels through the roof. While Rockies fans were freaking out, Bard remained calm and pitched on. Up came Nick Ahmed and Bard sent him down swinging to save the day.
Nolan Being More Like Nolan
This is much more like the Nolan we all love. Additionally, the Rockies produced more back-to-back big hits — the kind that have been in short supply the last two weeks. After Story hit a one-out triple in the first inning, Arenado ripped an RBI double down the left-field line. Charlie Blackmon was then intentionally walked, setting the stage for Matt Kemp to hit another double to left field. Just like that, before the Diamondbacks even came to bat, the Rockies were up 2-0. In the seventh inning, with the game tied at 3-all, Story singled, stole second, and again came around to score on a Nolan double. Nolan now has five doubles on the year and 18 RBIs. Arenado also came around to score on a passed ball to give the Rockies a 5-3 lead in what turned out to be the winning run.
Márquez Reaches 100 Milestone
While he didn’t post a win, Germán Márquez had a solid outing that was an improvement from the 10 earned runs he gave up in his last outing. This time, Márquez gave up three runs in five innings, while also striking out five and walking three. Most of the damage came by way of solo homers by Christian Walker and Jon Jay in the second inning. The other trouble came in the fourth when Márquez gave up a single, a double, and a walk to load the bases. Jay hit a sac fly to tie the game at 3-all, but Marquez was able to strike out Carson Kelly for the second out. Despite issuing another walk to reload the bases, he got Ketel Marte to fly out to end the threat. Marquez had runners in scoring position in the first and third innings, but was able to pitch out of the jams. The start was Márquez’s 100th start of his career, all of which have been with the Rockies. He’s only the 11th pitcher to do that in team history.
Bullpen Cruises in 6th, 7th, and 8th
The bullpen had to cover four innings and was up to the task. Jairo Díaz started it off in the sixth, and despite giving up a leadoff double to Ahmed, tossed a scoreless inning with three groundouts. Carlos Estévez gave up a one-out double to Starling Marte in the seventh, but also forced three groundouts. In the eighth, it was Tyler Kinley’s turn. He walked Ahmed, but struck out Escobar and Jay, before ending the inning with a Stephen Vogt groundout.
New Face at First Base
Josh Fuentes made his first start of the season and did so playing first base. Fuentes went 2-for-5 with a double in the seventh inning, which was his first hit of the season (he only had one at bat entering the game). He also singled in the ninth. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Fuentes made a great play at first base, knocking down a sharply hit grounder to his right and then bare-handing the ball and throwing it to Carols Estévez who was running to cover first. It robbed Ketel Marte of a hit, and considering Starling Marte doubled in the following at bat, erased a probable run for Arizona.
The Rockies and Diamondbacks will face off in the third of their four-game series on Wednesday night at 7:40 p.m. Jon Gray (1-3, 6.23) will get the start for the Rockies, while Robbie Ray (1-3, 8.33) will be on the mound for Arizona.