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DENVER – For the first time in almost a week, the Colorado Rockies won a baseball game without the need for walk-off dramatics.
It was a cold and stormy affair at Coors Field on Tuesday night, but the box score suggests that the Rockies played exactly the kind of game they need to in order not only to win ballgames but to get themselves back in the hunt for the National League.
They got a solid outing from their starting pitcher and created enough chances throughout the game up and down the lineup to eventually get the big hits and take a 6-2 victory.
Antonio Senzatela, coming off of one of his worst outing of the season in Pittsburgh, came out strong and pitched exactly the kind of game he needs to.
He labored a bit with his command and didn’t get any help from a tight zone but scattered the nine hits he did give up, only surrendering a pair of runs over six innings. He walked two and struck out two, keeping his team in the game and allowing the offense to go to work.
The Diamondbacks took the lead in the third inning on a solo home run just over the high wall in right-center field for Eduardo Escobar on a mislocated fastball from Senzatela.
Colorado came back to tie the game then take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Raimel Tapia led off the frame with a flare that fell into shallow center field. He raced around first and slid just ahead of the tag for a hustle double.
Trevor Story could not advance the runner, grounding out to short, but David Dahl did with a grounder to second. With two outs, the Rockies looked like they would need a hit to tie it up, but Nolan Arenado worked a good at-bat that resulted in a full-count pitch that was spiked in the dirt. Once again, Tapia took advantage of his speed and sprinted home, sliding under the pitcher’s tag to score the tying run.
But they weren’t done yet.
Daniel Murphy followed by ripping a double into the gap, located so perfectly that even Arenado could score all the way from first.
In the span of just a few pitches, the Rockies had gone from down one to up one with a mini two-out rally.
The lead was short-lived though as the Diamondbacks tied it back up in the next half-inning on a double from Ketel Marte and a single for Escobar.
But as the skies opened up to pouring rain and the temperature plummeted, the Rockies narrowed their focus and found another two-out rally in the seventh to take the lead once more. Ian Desmond singled on a grounder through the right side, continuing his good play in the month of May, and Chris Iannetta stayed back on a breaking ball on the inner half of the plate, driving it high into the night backlit by countless drops of water.
The flyball looked like it might fall just short, but somehow managed to carry through the heavy precipitation and land in the front row in left field, 411 feet from home plate. With that, Colorado took a 4-2 lead.
They handed that lead to reliever Chad Bettis who had an 0-2 fastball slip away from him to plunk the leadoff hitter but came back to get three quick outs.
Colorado then sprang into action again in the eighth with, you guessed it, a two-out rally. Archie Bradley got wild in the rain, walking Story, Arenado, and Murphy to load the bases. That gave Ryan McMahon a chance to purchase the insurance and he did just that, taking a fastball away from him and lining it off the wall in left for a two-run double to make it a 6-2 game.
Bettis stayed on for the top of the ninth and worked a quick, clean inning to secure the win and his first save of the season and his career.
Antonio Senzatela: 6 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Jairo Diaz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Chad Bettis: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (S: 1)
Chris Iannetta: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI (HR: 4)
Ian Desmond: 2-for-3, 1 R
Nola Arenado: 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB
Raimel Tapia: 1-for-4, 1 R