The Rockies found a new way to lose on Tuesday night and found themselves on the other side of a walk-off.
After battling back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the seventh, Daniel Bard hit David Peralta with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to lose the game. Making things even worse, Bard gave up one single and walked two to get into the jam, while only recording one out.
The Rockies had their chances to take a lead in the seventh and eighth, but couldn’t get the job done. With Bard struggling against left-handed hitters (who are hitting .333 as opposed to .190 for righties), left-handed Stephen Vogt got the inning started with a single and his pitch runner, Stuart Fairchild, who was making his MLB debut, scored the winning run.
“Here in the second half, we gotta come up with some answers against the lefties with Daniel,” Rockies manager Bud Black said in the press conference after the game.
The Rockies got down fast as the Diamondbacks started the game with four straight doubles, including the first by Josh Rojas that came on Jon Gray’s first pitch. The rally helped Arizona jump out to a 3-0 lead. It took Gray 13 pitches to get the first out of the game. In his previous 11 innings over two games, Gray had only given up two runs.
Back on track
Starting in the second inning, Gray rediscovered his groove. He retired 10 straight batters before giving up a single in the fourth. Even then, there was no damage. Only three D-backs reached base through the sixth inning when Gray threw his last pitch. By then, he struck out eight D-backs while only walking one. He consistently was hitting 95 mph with his four-seam fastball, which struck out three batters. Five more went down by slider.
Offense slowly rallies back, but not enough
Despite finding themselves down 3-0 after the first innings, the Rockies clawed their way back slowly to tie the game in the seventh. The first Colorado run came in the fourth inning when Charlie Blackmon hit a two-out single and Brendan Rodgers followed with a double, his second of the game, to bring Blackmon home to make it 3-1.
Some small ball led to the next two runs, starting with one run in the fifth when C.J. Cron led off with a single and Elias Díaz hit a grounder to move Cron to second. Raimel Tapia followed with a single to drive in Cron and cut Arizona’s lead to 3-2.
The Rockies wasted a golden opportunity in the sixth when Trevor Story led off with a walk and Blackmon followed with a single. Rodgers then hit into a fielder’s choice, Ryan McMahon tried to sneak a bunt, but popped out to pitcher Merrill Kelly instead, and Cron grounded out to end the threat.
When Díaz opened the seventh with a walk, he eventually came around to score after a Garrett Hampson single, a sac bunt by Tapia, and a sacrifice grounder by Yonathan Daza.
Solid middle relief
In the seventh and eighth innings, the D-backs didn’t get one hit. Jhoulys Chacín pitched the seventh, and despite issuing two walks, had no damage. Carlos Estévez entered in the eighth and pitched a quick one-two-three inning with a strikeout.
The Rockies and D-backs will play game two of the three-game series on Wednesday night at 7:40 p.m. MT. Antonio Senzatela (2-7, 4.58 ERA) will start for Colorado, while Humberto Castellanos (0-1, 3.09 ERA) will be on the mound for Arizona.