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Estevez picks up win after critical eighth

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

PHOENIX -- Rockies second-year relief pitcher Carlos Estevez's assignment Saturday -- keep the D-backs from extending their eighth-inning lead, which was already two runs -- became harder when Carlos Gonzalez's normally golden glove failed him.

Gonzalez committed a three-base error on Yasmany Tomas' leadoff fly ball. But Estevez wiggled out inning scoreless -- with a combination of fortune, defense and good location -- and walked away with the victory after the Rockies scored three ninth-inning runs to win, 7-6.

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PHOENIX -- Rockies second-year relief pitcher Carlos Estevez's assignment Saturday -- keep the D-backs from extending their eighth-inning lead, which was already two runs -- became harder when Carlos Gonzalez's normally golden glove failed him.

Gonzalez committed a three-base error on Yasmany Tomas' leadoff fly ball. But Estevez wiggled out inning scoreless -- with a combination of fortune, defense and good location -- and walked away with the victory after the Rockies scored three ninth-inning runs to win, 7-6.

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"I wasn't expecting that," Estevez said. "It was. … I've gotta execute now. I cannot let this run score."

Estevez (3-0) has contributed to a bullpen that has been dependable when protecting leads. However, the Rockies entered with a 4.59 relief ERA because too many times deficits that were present when starters left grew against the relievers.

On Saturday, the Rockies trailed at one point, 6-1, but Chad Qualls and Jake McGee pitched clean sixth and seventh innings, and the Rockies cut the difference to 6-4 before Estevez entered.

The deficit stayed there.

Brandon Drury smoked a line drive right at shortstop Trevor Story. Nick Ahmed popped out in foul ground, and first baseman Mark Reynolds made a spinning throw to the plate to dissuade Tomas from tagging.

Then Estevez made his best pitch -- a 96.2 mph fastball above the zone that Jeff Mathis flied to left.

"He picked up 'CarGo' -- this game is about picking each other up," Rockies manager Bud Black said.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Carlos Estevez