Arenado hits 2-run homer in 9th, Rockies beat Diamondbacks 7-6
DENVER — Nolan Arenado lingered near the batter’s box a little longer than usual as he stared at his liner.
It wasn’t to admire. It was simply to make sure.
In a season that’s been so foul for Colorado, he wanted to double-check that his deep drive indeed stayed fair before celebrating.
Arenado hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Rockies a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
A rare bright spot in what’s been a trying stretch for a club that’s all but assured it won’t be making a third straight postseason appearance. The Rockies are 14-33 since June 21, which is one of the worst marks by winning percentage in the majors over the time frame.
“It’s been a grind for all of us individually and as a team,” said Arenado, who’d left four runners on base before connecting on his 27th homer of the season. “It feels good to come out with a win right there.”
After Trevor Story was hit by a pitch to start the ninth, Arenado launched a fastball from Archie Bradley (3-5) over the fence in left — and just fair. It was Arenado’s third career walk-off homer and first since June 18, 2017, against San Francisco.
“I hit it good,” Arenado said.
Bradley threw it good, too.
Immediately after contact, Bradley began walking toward the dugout. He knew. He had his career-best string of 17 1/3 scoreless innings snapped.
“This is our last time here and I’m not sad about it,” Bradley said about Coors Field. “I will be the first person happy to get out of here.”
Arenado was doused with Powerade soon after crossing home plate and mobbed by teammates. Colorado ended a string of five straight losses to Arizona.
Arenado’s homer came after Ketel Marte delivered a two-out, run-scoring bloop single in the top of the inning to give the Diamondbacks the lead. Marte dropped a slider from closer Scott Oberg (6-1) just over the head of Story, who turned and threw home too late. It was Marte’s career high-tying fourth hit of the day.
Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer and Wilmer Flores added a solo shot in the sixth to give Arizona a 5-2 lead. The Rockies tied it up on pinch-hitter Ryan McMahon’s three-run homer in the bottom half of the inning off Yoshihisa Hirano.
“That was fun, huh?” McMahon cracked. “I had a good time.”
The Diamondbacks’ bullpen was pressed into duty earlier than expected when starter Robbie Ray left in the third inning because of spasms in his lower back. Ray made one warmup pitch before the trainer came out to check on him. He said he could’ve pushed through, but he didn’t “want it to turn into something that is a bigger issue.”
It was far from a defensive clinic for the Diamondbacks, who committed a season-high four errors. Christian Walker, Nick Ahmed and Marte were charged with errors on fielding plays and Flores on a throw.
“This,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, “is a tough game to absorb.”
Diamondbacks: Begin a four-game series against San Francisco on Thursday. Lefty Alex Young (4-2, 3.32 ERA) gets the start for the Diamondbacks.
Rockies: After a day off, the Rockies host Miami for three games. Righty Jon Gray (10-8, 4.06) takes the mound Friday after skipping his scheduled start Tuesday due to a sore left ankle. The Marlins will throw right-hander Sandy Alcantara (4-10, 4.44).
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Coal Ridge could just pull off a 3A league championship if the Titans take care of their own business and get a little help from afar.