Rox rally for four runs, walk off in ninth
DENVER -- Pinch-hitter Ben Paulsen delivered a two-run walk-off single in the ninth inning, lifting the Rockies to a 5-4 comeback win over the D-backs on Monday night at Coors Field.
"We had a lot of missed opportunities throughout," said Colorado manager Walt Weiss, whose Rockies still finished 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base. "But guys kept fighting."
With Colorado trailing, 4-1, entering the final frame, Daniel Descalso and Jose Reyes delivered hits off Arizona closer Brad Ziegler to put men on second and third with one out. Nolan Arenado then missed a game-tying homer by inches as his two-run single clanked off the top of the wall.
"He smoked that," Weiss said. "I thought it was a home run off the bat."
Two batters later, DJ LeMahieu singled, and both runners moved up on Ziegler's throwing error. Nick Hundley walked to load the bases for Paulsen, who roped the game-winner into center for his second walk-off hit this season. The rally made a winner out of reliever Simon Castro, who tossed two scoreless innings.
The Rockies' late-game heroics erased a solid outing from D-backs starter Robbie Ray -- who gave up nine baserunners, but limited the damage -- yielding just five hits and one run over 5 2/3 innings.
"It was a win we felt like we should have had," D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Two-strike approach: Both of the D-backs' run-scoring hits in the third inning came with two strikes. Ender Inciarte's RBI single in the third to right came after he fell behind in the count 1-2. Meanwhile Pollock's two-run homer came on an 0-2 changeup. Chad Bettis had gotten a changeup called for strike two and tried to come back with another.
"I think it was a cutter that he just left there," Pollock said. "It was kind of the pitch that I fouled off right before that and made an adjustment and got it out of the park."
Back in Blackmon: Charlie Blackmon has been a consistent presence atop the Rockies' lineup, and Monday was no different. He finished a homer short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. It was Blackmon's 13th game this season with at least three hits, and he finished August hitting .297. Each of Blackmon's hits came with him leading off the inning.
"Sometimes when there's nobody on base, nobody out, I feel like it's fresh," Blackmon said. "You can kind of have no distractions. But yeah, I guess I lead off more than anybody else, so if there is anybody who's comfortable doing that, it's me."
Dodging damage: Ray seemed to always find himself in jams during his outing, but for the most part managed to work his way out of them. It was a definite step forward from his last start when he allowed six runs, walked five and lasted just three innings against the Cardinals.
Bettis battles: In his second start since returning from right elbow inflammation, Bettis gave up 11 hits and four runs over six innings while striking out four and walking none. Putting hitters away with two strikes was his kryptonite all evening, but Bettis said he felt good despite some struggles.
"I think it was a very unique outing for feeling as good as I did," Bettis said. "It was kind of odd that everything was kind of glued together pretty small, but I wasn't able to expand when I was ahead [in the count]."
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In his first 56 appearances this year, Ziegler allowed nine runs. Over his last two outings, he has given up seven. More >
Blackmon was initially ruled out on his first-inning stolen-base attempt, but video evidence showed that Blackmon, in fact, lifted his left leg out of the way and dodged Chris Owings' tag. The reversal subsequently gave Blackmon his 36th stolen base of the year.
"I knew I was going to be dead out," Blackmon said. "So I was like, 'I'll just slide in there, get my foot out there early and then I'm just going to bank on him sweep-tagging me.' I tried to give him the abra-cadabra and pull my leg back. It worked. I was very surprised."
In the eighth, Nick Hundley was called safe at first on an attempted pickoff play and the D-backs elected to challenge the call. After a short review the call was overturned and Hundley was called out.
D-backs: Patrick Corbin will get the start in the first game of the doubleheader, which starts at 12:10 p.m. MST while Rubby De La Rosa gets the nod in the nightcap that begins at 5:40 p.m.
Rockies:Colorado will host its fourth doubleheader this season and second against Arizona. Left-hander Yohan Flande will get the start in the opener, which begins at 1:10 p.m. MT. Right-hander Kyle Kendrick will make his return from right shoulder inflammation and start in the 6:40 p.m.nightcap.
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