'Be better': D-backs see large lead fade late

October 2nd, 2021

The D-backs had a whole lot of fun in the third inning, sending 10 men to the plate, hitting three home runs, including one by their starting pitcher, and scoring seven runs.

It was all downhill from there, though, as the Rockies rallied for six runs in the sixth and another three in the ninth to beat the D-backs, 9-7, at Chase Field.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was asked to describe the change in emotions that he felt being up 7-0 only to lose late.

"I can't," he said.

The loss was the fifth in a row for the D-backs and their 110th on the season. That leaves them just one loss from tying the mark for most in franchise history with two games left to play. The 2004 edition finished with a 51-111 record.

"I'm not doing too good right now," Lovullo added. "I'm not going to lie about that."

During the giddy seven-run third inning, the D-backs pummeled Rockies starter Jon Gray for seven hits, three of which were homers by Ketel Marte, Christian Walker and starting pitcher Humberto Castellanos.

There was laughter, there was joking in the dugout. This was going to be a good night.

Castellanos seemed to be cruising in shutting out the Rockies for the first five innings, but he would not get out of the sixth as Colorado scored six times on six hits, including a three-run homer by Sam Hilliard.

"Through five he was fantastic, you know, 62 pitches and we were riding with him," said Lovullo of Castellanos. "And he was attacking the zone with the fastball that he was commanding very well and working some secondary stuff off of that. That sixth inning, things just happened quickly. It was a matter of six or eight pitches for three or four batters that resulted in the runs."

Still the D-backs led heading into the ninth inning and with lefty Caleb Smith pitching a dominating eighth, Lovullo left him in to face the first two Colorado hitters in the ninth, both of whom were left-handed.

The first, though, Dom Nuñez, tied the game with a solo homer to lead off the frame. Later, Trevor Story and C.J. Cron each chipped in RBIs off right-hander J.B. Wendelken to put the Rockies on top.

"It's the hardest part of sports -- when you do a lot right and you still don't find a way to win a game," Lovullo said. "We did a lot right to score seven runs and then we didn't make that stand up and there was a lot inside of the game that we could have done better.

"I haven't put my arms around it yet. I haven't had a chance to sit down and think about it. I'm probably still too frustrated to go there. This isn't the first time [that] we've had this type of game. And everybody's got to be better, everybody. That's what I'm thinking right now. You can start with me."