D-backs' extra-base hits sink Rockies
PHOENIX -- Jeremy Hellickson pitched seven innings of one-run ball and the offense gave him more than enough support, as the D-backs took the series opener against the Rockies, 8-1, on Thursday night at Chase Field.
David Peralta put the D-backs ahead, 3-1, in the sixth with a two-run triple. In the seventh, Yasmany Tomas and Aaron Hill each added a two-run double to break it open. Hellickson allowed just three hits and struck out six with no walks.
"He was keeping the ball down for the most part, his changeup was very good and his breaking ball," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It's the same repertoire, it's just a matter of controlling that zone and throwing the ball where he wants to."
Rockies starter Chris Rusin took the loss, allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits over six innings. He also drove in the team's lone run with a two-out RBI single in the fifth.
"It really doesn't matter because we didn't win the game, so I don't think too much about it," Rusin said when asked about his RBI.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A glove isn't always golden: The Rockies' Nolan Arenado has won the last two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards at third base, and he has a good shot to make it three in as many seasons in the Majors. But in the sixth, Arenado dribbled Hill's grounder with two out and one on, and wound up with his eighth error this season. Naturally, that came right before Peralta's triple past diving Rockies first baseman Ben Paulsen. Arenado committed another error that led to another run in the eighth. More >
"I played terrible. … Just a terrible baseball game," said Arenado, who slammed his bat and screamed when he flied out to end the game. "I made some terrible plays on defense. If I don't make that error [in the sixth], it stops that inning. Russ pitched a great game and I wish I would've picked him up."
Finally, Hellickson gets deeper: After completing six innings in eight of his first 15 starts, Hellickson got through seven innings for the first time this season. He also bounced back from a loss in San Diego on Saturday, when he had season-worsts with seven runs and 10 hits allowed.
"It was definitely one of my best games stat line-wise, but I've been feeling good for a while now," Hellickson said.
Ending a skid: D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock led off the sixth with a solo homer that tied the game at 1. Pollock, who went 2-for-5, has collected five hits the last two nights after going 3-for-25 in the seven games before that.
Execution issues: Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Athletics was chockful of poor at-bats when the Rockies had early opportunities. The same thing occurred Thursday, when Arenado doubled to open the second, only to see Paulsen strike out, Nick Hundley ground to third (which prevented Arenado from advancing), and Daniel Descalso strike out.
"The game gets away late, but you'd like to be able to jump out to an early lead and play from ahead," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
"I think if he took it, it would've hit him in the stomach. He can do that, he has that type of swing where he stays inside the ball." -- Hale, on Tomas' two-run double in the seventh on an inside pitch
"They've got a nice top of the lineup. Ahmed has really come on offensively. Pollock is somewhat of a well-kept secret in this league. Goldschmidt is as good as it gets." -- Weiss on facing the D-backs
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rockies pitchers are 3-for-35 with runners in scoring position, but Rusin is 2-for-3.
Rockies: Rockies right-hander Kyle Kendrick (3-10, 6.07 ERA), who will face the D-backs on Friday at 7:40 p.m. MT, has good and bad memories of the last time he faced Arizona. The bad is he gave up three home runs; however, he went six innings and earned the win on June 23.
D-backs: Chase Anderson takes the mound for the second game of the series. Anderson has won three of his last four starts, but the loss came against the Rockies on June 23 and was the right-hander's worst outing of the year. He allowed eight runs on eight hits in a season-low 4 2/3 innings.
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