DENVER -- The Rockies' defense has been stout for much of the year, but a string of errors Friday night in the seventh inning proved costly in a 9-5 loss to the D-backs.Jonathan Lucroy, Adam Ottavino and Mark Reynolds combined to commit three errors in the seventh, opening the door
DENVER -- The Rockies' defense has been stout for much of the year, but a string of errors Friday night in the seventh inning proved costly in a 9-5 loss to the D-backs.
Jonathan Lucroy, Adam Ottavino and Mark Reynolds combined to commit three errors in the seventh, opening the door for Arizona's five-run frame. The mistakes delivered a gut punch to the Rockies, who had been making a late-comeback attempt.
Lucroy started the sloppy inning with an errant throw on A.J. Pollock's steal of second base, allowing Pollock to advance to third.
"Just didn't get off a good throw. It was a terrible throw," Lucroy said. "I was trying to be too quick, [Pollock] had a huge jump and just a terrible throw. Bottom line."
After Paul Goldschmidt was intentionally walked, Pollock scored when Ottavino pegged Goldschmidt with a pickoff throw. Goldschmidt moved up to second when Reynolds airmailed the ball home trying to nail Pollock.
Lucroy isn't known for over-the-top defense, but he's not bad behind the plate. His career caught-stealing rate entering Friday was 28 percent -- slightly below average -- and his seventh-inning gaffe was just his second throwing error all season.
"It's our job to get the ball down there as quick as you can and make the best throw," Lucroy said. "That's all you can do. It's a lot easier when they don't get on, but whenever they get on they might try to run. I got to do a better job getting people out."
Ottavino is typically a solid defender; his pickoff try was just his third throwing error in almost 330 career innings. The veteran right-hander said the ball simply slipped.
"The ball came out of my hand weird on that play," Ottavino said. "It hit the runner, and that was pretty brutal. It just came out of my hand weird. I went to rush the throw and it kind of slid into a changeup a little bit."
Despite the uncharacteristic sloppy play, the Rockies nearly escaped the jam with just two runs allowed. But D-backs pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso took advantage of an 0-2 pitch from Mike Dunn, putting the Rockies down, 9-2, with a three-run homer.
"No one's doing that stuff on purpose, no one makes errors on purpose," Lucroy said. "No one hangs sliders on purpose, no one strikes out on purpose. It's tough, very tough."
Manager Bud Black hasn't lost faith in his team's defense, which sports former Gold Glove infielders at third base [Nolan Arenado] and second base [DJ LeMahieu].
"It was a tough inning, though we didn't really bobble any balls," Black said. "We're still a good defensive team. Tonight in the seventh inning it didn't look like it, but I don't think anything's happened to that team. I don't think that team has gone anywhere."
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.