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Nuñez debut and homer bright spot in loss

Patrick Lyons Avatar
August 14, 2019

DENVER – When the Rockies came up to bat in the bottom half of the first inning on Bark at the Park Day, the score was 5-0 and spot-starter Jeff Hoffman’s performance was lackluster, at best.

Some suggested it was ruff.

The one highlight worth mentioning above all else was the Major League debut of catcher Dom Nuñez. Selected from Triple-A to replace Chris Iannetta, the 24-year-old hit a solo home run in the eighth for his first hit, becoming only the seventh player in franchise history to homer in his debut and first since Trevor Story on April 4, 2016.

With Nuñez behind the dish, Hoffman toed the slab in place of scheduled starter Jon Gray, who was scratched due to left ankle soreness. His second pitch of the game was quickly deposited into the right field stands for Jarrod Dyson’s third leadoff home run of the season. After retiring the next hitter and walking Ketel Marte, Christian Walker mashed one to right 365 ft for a two-run homer. Nick Ahmed added a two-run shot of his own to cap the five-run first for Arizona.

Hoffman gave up his fourth long ball of the game in his next inning of work, another two-run shot courtesy of David Peralta. He’d finish the inning, but with only 45 pitches on his arm, Bud Black had seen enough and Hoffman’s night was over in a flash.

Colorado squandered a big opportunity in the bottom half of the first after Charlie Blackmon led off with a double. It took a two-out single from Daniel Murphy to put a run on the board.

After a Raimel Tapia single and a Ryan McMahon walk, the bases were loaded against Arizona’s rookie starter Zac Gallen. Yonathan Daza struck out on four pitches and the purples struggle with runners in scoring position would continue for another game.

Blackmon also doubled his second time at bat, but with one out, Story and Nolan Arenado could not plate a runner. It was another goose egg on the scoreboard in the third following McMahon’s two-out two-bagger.

The Rockies scratched across a run in the fourth when Jesus Tinoco, on in relief of Hoffman, notched the first hit of his Major League career, a single to right field. Blackmon smoked to right field that nearly missed being a home run, deflecting off the auxiliary scoreboard for the best well-hit single in recent memory. After a Story single, Arenado got off the schneid with a sacrifice fly and scored Tinoco.

The 6’4″ righty pitched a scoreless three inning, walking three and striking out two in the process. Carlos Estévez blanked the DBack over two innings, striking out one.

Chad Bettis worked one frame, allowing two runs one three hits and one walk. Jake McGee completed the ninth and gave up one hit while striking out two.

The 9-3 loss drops Colorado to 1-7 over the last eight games and moves them 10.5 games behind the final Wild Card spot.

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