Young no-hits Rockies over 6 innings in Arizona’s 5-3 win
AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX — Arizona manager Torey Lovullo made the difficult decision to remove Alex Young in the midst of a no-hitter, opting to protect the rookie left-hander’s future over chasing history.
When the very next pitch broke up the no-hitter, Lovullo heard it from the fans behind the Diamondbacks’ dugout — over and over for three innings.
“I can probably say to them, ‘I know I’m and idiot, but you don’t have to tell me 15 times,” Lovullo said. “I heard it the first time.”
Limited by a pitch count, Young tossed six no-hit innings in his second career start before being pulled in Arizona’s 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Young has bounced between the minors, the bullpen and the rotation, so Lovullo and his coaching staff opted to replace him after six innings despite the no-hitter on the line.
“It’s very painful,” Lovullo said. “When people in back of me are screaming things at me for three innings, it makes it even more painful. I’m very aware of it, but it’s part of the game.
Young (2-0) was stellar in his Chase Field debut, allowing one batter over the minimum after walking Tony Wolters in the third inning.
The 23-year-old left-hander was replaced by Yoshihisa Hirano to open the seventh inning after 71 pitches. Trevor Story hit Hirano’s first pitch down the third base line and beat Jake Lamb’s throw for Colorado’s first hit.
“This is a team game, not for me to throw a no-hitter or whatever,” Young said. “I want to do what’s best for the team and that’s what Torey thought. I agreed with it.”
Eduardo Escobar had three RBIs and finish a homer shy of the cycle and Nick Ahmed hit a two-run homer for Arizona. Christian Walker added a two-run single off German Marquez (8-4) to help the Diamondbacks enter the All-Star break above .500 at 46-45.
Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer and Story had a solo shot off Greg Holland in the ninth. Holland got the next three hitters for his 14th save.
Colorado lost sixth straight and 11 of 14 entering the All-Star break.
“This time of year, I think all players in Major League Baseball are a little weary,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “I think for us and like all teams it is good. Even if we won six in a row, it would be a good time to (break.”
Young had a strong major league debut on June 27, holding San Francisco to a run on three hits in five innings for his first win. He also pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings in relief against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
The 23-year-old left-hander had the Rockies hitting weak pop-ups and groundball outs by mixing speeds and locations well. The crowd booed when Hirano entered in the seventh and again when Story legged out the infield single.
Young struck out three and walked one to stretch his scoreless streak to 8 1/3 innings. He today matched Edgar Gonzalez (2004 against Cincinnati) for the longest no-hit outing to open a game by an Arizona rookie.
“Sometimes I have to be the parent in the room and it’s extremely hard,” Lovullo said. “I’m a fan. I see him dominating the very-offensive Colorado Rockies. I just know in my mind, he’s not going to exceed a certain pitch limit and under no circumstances am I going to let that happen.
Marquez left his last start after six innings with an 8-5 lead on Tuesday, but Houston rallied to win 9-8. The right-hander was sharp early against the Diamondbacks, allowing a run in the third inning on Escobar’s double to the corner in right.
Marquez ran into trouble in the sixth, when Walker lined a two-run single and Ahmed hit his two-run homer to put Arizona up 5-0.
“My stuff was good today,” Marquez said. “Fastball command was good, my curveball was sharp today. Just made one bad pitch.”
Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado made a spectacular play in the seventh inning, bare-handing Domingo Leyba’s chopper and throwing in one motion to beat him by a step.
Diamondbacks: INF Wilmer Flores (foot) and RHP Jon Duplantier (shoulder) played rehab games in the Arizona League.
Neither team has named a starter for after the All-Star break. The Rockies return with a three-game series against Cincinnati and the Diamondbacks face former first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for the first time in a three-game series at St. Louis.
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The Roaring Fork High School baseball team was deadlocked with the visiting Gunnison Cowboys in Carbondale through the final three frames Tuesday, before falling 16-9 in nine innings.