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Nolan's triple lifts first-place Rox past D-backs

June 20, 2017

DENVER -- The crowd at Coors Field was too delirious over the latest Nolan Arenado exploit to find the rhythm for an "MVP!" chant Tuesday night. But the message even pierced Arenado's intense concentration as he stood at third after his two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth delivered

DENVER -- The crowd at Coors Field was too delirious over the latest Nolan Arenado exploit to find the rhythm for an "MVP!" chant Tuesday night. But the message even pierced Arenado's intense concentration as he stood at third after his two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth delivered a 4-3 Rockies victory over the D-backs.
"I kind of zone out; I have to watch video for it to sink in again," Arenado said. "But standing there at third, I could really hear the crowd. It really fired me up. I was getting chills a little bit."
It was the second time in three days Arenado took back a win that had seemingly been snatched away. On Sunday, after the Giants had taken a lead in the top of the ninth, Arenado completed a cycle with a three-run homer for a 7-5 walk-off victory.
Tuesday's comeback in the opener of a three-game showdown between National League West contenders left the Rockies a half-game ahead of the Dodgers and two games up on the D-backs, who saw their win streak snapped at seven games. The Rockies have won six consecutive games.
The D-backs had taken a 3-2 lead in the eighth on consecutive homers by David Peralta, off of Chris Rusin, and Paul Goldschmidt, off of Adam Ottavino (1-1). But the Rockies expected something special, as long as the bottom of the frame made it to Arenado, who is 12-for-24 during the current homestand.

 "I'm an optimist by nature, so I think that anyway," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "But Nolan's been swinging the bat well."
With one down in the bottom of the frame, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu singled off Zack Greinke (8-4) to set up Arenado, Greinke had retired 11 straight before Blackmon's single. Then Arenado took a middle-away pitch from Grienke to the right-field wall.
Lovullo doesn't regret sticking with Greinke
"It was a low line drive, and the ball started to take off and there was nothing I could do," right fielder Peralta said of Arenado's drive. "It hit the hard part of the wall, the scoreboard. I wish we could win all the games. But it's going to happen. We're going to keep our same attitude. We're going to come tomorrow and just turn the page."
Greg Holland nailed his 25th save in 26 chances, and -- with a large nod to Arenado -- the Rockies are 45-0 when leading after seven innings.

Welcome back, CarGo: Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez had not homered in two weeks and had even spent two games in a row out of the starting lineup. But he is one of a small number of players in baseball who's happy to see Greinke. Gonzalez's solo homer to straight-away center, which gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead, was his fifth off Greinke in his career. More >

Parra dances with CarGo's bat before homer
Not nice to steal: Rockies starter German Marquez had a solid start -- six innings, four hits, one run, three strikeouts -- but can owe some success to a daring decision that backfired and the arm of catcher Tony Wolters. Marquez hit Goldschmidt to open the sixth and Jake Lamb singled. But Lamb attempted to steal second, and Wolters beat him. Brandon Drury's sacrifice fly was the only run of the inning, which finished with the Rockies leading, 2-1.
Marquez made key pitches and relied on help from his defense. Arenado snatched a Grienke liner in right field the third, shortstop Trevor Story grabbed a Goldschmidt liner to the middle to open the fourth, and second baseman LeMahieu's sliding stop of Daniel Descalso's grounder ended the fourth.

"The Rockies defense was very, very good at crucial moments," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "They made big plays at the right time and I think that might have been one of the differences in the game today."
"When he hit that ball off the wall. He reached that level -- I've been there before. It's just so much fun. You just ride it out, enjoy it. I told him, 'That's an MVP thing you're doing right now.'" -- Gonzalez on Arenado
"I wish that we were leading the division by more games, but these are the cards we're [dealt] and that's the way it is. We've got to enjoy it and we've got to compete." -- Arenado on the close NL West race
The Rockies stopped the game briefly to honor Joe West, Tuesday's plate umpire, who was working his 5,000th game. Only Hall of Famer Bill Klem and Bruce Froemming have worked more Major League contests.
Lovullo was happy to be there for West -- who was there for Lovullo when his father, Sam, passed away over the winter.
"Probably the most touching thing he did was come to my dad's service," Lovullo said. "He was buried in Los Angeles, but a couple of weeks later, we had a really emotional service in Nashville and Joe got up and spoke about my father in a very endearing way that I'll never forget.

"It seems like baseball lines things up every once in a while in a very special way. The fact that I'm here on the field for his 5,000th game is touching to me. I'm honored to be here. And I'm going to congratulate him, obviously, on a very special moment."
Black, who received his first career ejection from West, called West "a great ball-strike umpire."
D-backs:Taijuan Walker will make his second start since coming off the disabled list Wednesday night as the D-backs take on the Rockies. Walker, who was sidelined with a blister on his index finger, won his last start allowing one earned run over five innings.
Rockies: Rookie right-hander Jeff Hoffman starts for the Rockies on Wednesday against the D-backs at 6:40 p.m. MT in his sixth start of the season. Hoffman has walked just six batters in 32 innings..
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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.