A game lost, but an offense rediscovered

May 23rd, 2021

When an offense is going through one of its toughest stretches of a long season, it can be nice to finally see some crooked numbers on the scoreboard, even if the result still isn’t what the team was hoping for.

The D-backs lost to the Rockies, 7-6, on Saturday afternoon at Coors Field. But after scoring only seven runs in its previous six games, Arizona put together a pair of impressive rallies and pounded out 12 hits. And that’s progress.

“We didn’t win yesterday. We didn’t win the day before, but we had the confidence to go out there and score runs,” said outfielder , who collected three hits. “Even down three, we score three. They score four, we come back and put runs up on the board. That’s what our offense can do every day. We had the confidence going into today, but just to see it happen feels even better.”

The D-backs lost their seventh straight game, and they’ve dropped 16 of 19. But as Rojas alluded to, their rallies came at times when they faced adversity. Earlier in the week, the bats remained quiet in those situations. Not on Saturday.

Down 3-0 heading into the sixth, Arizona strung together three hits to open the inning, the last of which was 's double that gave him his first RBI since joining the team Thursday. Two more runs scored during the rally, and the game was tied going to the bottom of the inning.

But Colorado reclaimed the lead with a sixth-inning rally of its own, plating four runs against D-backs left-hander , who allowed a season-high seven runs (five earned) in six innings. In the sixth, Bumgarner allowed four extra-base hits, including a two-run homer to Charlie Blackmon.

However, Bumgarner said he felt good and wasn’t affected by the left adductor spasm that caused him to exit Monday's start against the Dodgers after four innings. Instead, it may have been the factor of pitching at Coors Field, where the veteran has a 4.92 ERA in 19 career starts.

“If I just looked at the line, I would leave here pretty frustrated -- and I still am, to a certain extent,” Bumgarner said. “If I just back up and look at how I felt like I was throwing the ball, I feel pretty good about it. I think if we were anywhere else other than the moon, it would be a completely different story, to be honest with you.”

has accounted for much of Arizona’s limited offense over the past week, and he stayed hot as the bats broke out. His three-run homer in the seventh (which cut Colorado’s lead to one) extended his hitting streak to eight games. During that span, he has gone deep five times.

However, the D-backs missed an opportunity to take the lead shortly after Escobar’s home run. They loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but pinch-hitter Andrew Young was robbed of a hit on a diving catch by Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia.

“He made a great play at a great moment, and that's what good baseball players do,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “You've got to tip your hat to him."

The D-backs had the tying run in scoring position in the ninth, as David Peralta led off with a double. But the next three batters went down against Daniel Bard, and Arizona was again on the wrong side of a close game.

During the seven-game skid, the margin of defeat has been three or fewer runs five times.

“For the most part, we’re just one thing going our way away from winning a lot of games,” Bumgarner said. “It’s frustrating to see, frustrating to be a part of. Every team goes through this every year. It’s not just us. It obviously stings a little more when it is you and your team.”

With only one game remaining on the seven-game road trip, the D-backs will look to carry over some of Saturday’s offensive success into the series finale at Colorado. Rojas remains confident in the lineup’s approach.

“I know we didn’t quite complete the comeback, but just to see our offense put together hits in the same inning and put runs together, that feels good,” Rojas said. “It feels good to get runs on the board and get that close to a comeback.”