One night after snapping a seven-game losing skid, it was a game to start a new streak and for getting individuals back into a groove as Colorado won 5-4 in Arizona on Tuesday night.
Nolan Arenado slugged two RBI-doubles, Garrett Hampson broke a 1-for-21 slump to thump his second home run of the season, and Josh Fuentes made his first start after riding the pine for opening two weeks, adding a double for his first hit of the season.
Starter German Márquez was not sharp with his fastball, while command of his off-speed pitches allowed him to improve upon a horrendous start against Houston last week at home. The pitch count reached 95 after five innings, but it was all the Rockies needed.
Jairo Díaz, pitching earlier than we’ve seen in a quite some time, threw a scoreless sixth and was followed in kind by Carlos Estévez and Tyler Kinley, who struck out two.
Daniel Bard struggled mightily in the ninth to earn his third save, giving up a run and loading the bases before striking out Nick Ahmed on three pitches to send Arizona to their seventh-straight loss.
Player of the Game: Arenado – 2-for-5, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 R
Following an off-day on Sunday at Los Angeles, Arenado responded with even more offensive output than the 1-for-4 opener on Monday night. Not only did he drive the first run and the go-ahead run in the seventh, but he scored on the Carson Kelly passed ball for an insurance run that was ultimately the difference.
Moment of the Game: Arenado slashes second RBI-double
With Trevor Story on second following a single and stolen base in the seventh, Arenado tagged a 1-2 curveball to left field to put ahead Colorado 4-3 with their best reliever in Estévez warming up to help preserve the lead.
Defensive Gem: Fuentes gets dirty in critical spot
Estévez entered the game in the seventh to face the heart of the DBacks order. Ketel Marte opened the frame with a hard hit ground ball with an expected batting average of .480, but Fuentes made an athletic play to nab the talented second baseman for the first out.
It proved to be an even more valuable play as Starling Marte followed with a standup double that would have surely scored Ketel and brought Arizona to within one.
- Making his year 100th Major League start (103rd game), Márquez becomes the 11th Rockies pitcher to make 100 big league starts.
- Entering tonight, Marquee Del Rey is tied for sixth in starts with Aaron Nola among NL pitchers since he his debut. Only Jon Lester (105), Patrick Corbin (103), Max Scherzer (102), Julio Teheran (101) and Jacob deGrom (101) rank ahead.