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Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 2: The Rise of El Forzudo

Elehuris Montero’s strongman home run was a major highlight of this mostly pitching-focused win in the desert.

The Colorado Rockies didn’t have much in terms off offense until late in this second game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but late game power is what put them on top. The Rockies walk away from this one with the series tied at a game a piece thanks to a 3-2 victory.

Say it with me: Senzational.

Antonio Senzatela had an excellent start for the Rockies this evening. He pitched for seven innings—his longest outing of the year—while giving up just two earned runs that book-ended his performance. In the first inning Senzatela allowed a leadoff single but things looked promising after a double play. Unfortunately back-to-back hits via a double and a single would put the Diamondbacks on the board with one run. In the seventh inning Senzatela allowed a first pitch, leadoff home run to Daulton Varsho. In between the first and seventh was five shutout frames. Senzatela gave up nine hits but did a good job keeping the ball on the ground to limit damage. He issued zero walks and struck out two batters.

El Forzudo swings his mighty hammer

Through seven innings the Rockies didn’t have much of an answer for Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly. He had held them to just one run on three hits and gave them only two extra runners with a walk and a hit by pitch. The Rockies had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning only to come up empty when José Iglesias hit into a double play. The Rockies finally plated their first run in the seventh when CJ Cron led off the inning with a double and would be driven in by a Randal Grichuk single. When Daulton Varsho homered in the bottom of the seventh to take back the lead for the D-Backs, it seemed like the Rockies’ offensive momentum was gone. Then El Forzudo swung his mighty hammer.

“El Forzudo” is the Spanish term for a strongman, which is exactly what Eleheuris Montero looked like when he annihilated a Merrill Kelly cutter sitting low-middle in the zone. It was gone off the bat and everyone knew it as the top prospect rounded the bases for his first big league big fly. Montero’s home run seemingly motivated Ryan McMahon to similarly display a feat of strength. With the game tied in the top of the ninth, McMahon clubbed a home run over the wall at the deepest part of the yard to give the Rockies their 3-2 lead and final score.

Bullpen gets it done

After Antonio Senzatela’s excellent evening, it was down to the bullpen to keep the Rockies in a close ballgame. Carlos Estévez worked the eighth inning in relief of Senzatela and put up his third straight scoreless appearance while giving up one hit. After Elehuris Montero and Ryan McMahon put the Rockies in the lead, it was in the hands of freshly extended Daniel Bard to lock things down. He did it in 12 pitches. At least five of those pitches clocked at 100 MPH or more. Bard worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 23rd save of the season.

Coming Up Next

The rubber match of this three game series will be tomorrow afternoon as the end of this grueling 18 game stretch is in sight. José Ureña will take the mound for the Rockies against Zach Davies and the Diamondbacks. First pitch is at 2:10 PM MDT.