Sweep bid derailed late after commanding start
Lyles goes six innings, homers before D-backs rally against 'pen
PHOENIX -- One bad pitch didn't ruin the Rockies' six-game road trip.
But one good pitch could have made the trip home feel so much better.
Instead of going back to Colorado riding a four-game winning streak and with five victories on their six-game trip, the Rockies head to Coors Field on the short end of a 5-4 extra-inning win for the D-backs and left wondering what could have been.
What if Rex Brothers had thrown a better pitch to Chris Owings with an 0-2 count, two outs and a 4-2 lead in the ninth? Owings doubled and eventually scored the tying run on Martin Prado's single up the middle.
Brothers also had Prado down to a final strike.
"Command obviously would be the right word," Brothers said. "I was one pitch away from being in the books. I didn't execute. That's the bottom line."
What if Tommy Kahnle had thrown a better pitch to Miguel Montero instead of the one that the D-backs catcher deposited into the right-field seats to lead off the bottom of the 10th?
"The first couple of pitches, couple of swings, it was typical -- swinging pretty hard at it trying to launch one," Montero said. "It's a funny game. He gave me a pitch that was probably the last pitch I was thinking about in that count. It was a 1-2 fastball middle-in, down and it was a short swing, and I was kind of quick on it. I know the guy throws hard, just trying to protect actually with two strikes, and that protection was pretty good."
In the end, the loss capped a solid road trip that saw the Rockies finish 4-2 and kept Colorado from completing a three-game sweep.
"We had a couple of two-strike counts, and Prado ended up getting a big hit for them," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "[Brothers] didn't have his great command tonight, but the Diamondbacks battled back."
But don't feel sorry for the Rockies.
"We won four straight series, and of course we would have liked to win this game," Weiss said. "We had the game in control for what it looked like most of the game, so it's a tough one to lose. It's always tough when you don't put games away but we'll go home and win another series."
Weiss has a point.
Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run home run off D-backs starter Josh Collmenter in the first inning to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead. Starting pitcher Jordan Lyles helped himself when he led off the top of the third with a home run. Charlie Blackmon followed with a double and scored later on a wild pitch to extend the Rockies' lead to four runs.
The Rockies could have added on in the second inning, but Jordan Pacheco was called out for leaving too early from third base in an attempt to score on a sacrifice fly to right field.
As it turns out, the Rockies could have used the help.
The D-backs threatened in the sixth inning and loaded the bases but managed only one run. Lyles was replaced by Matt Belisle to start the bottom of the seventh inning.
"I felt like we needed to add on," Weiss said. "Collmenter did a good job of settling in and keeping us there. [Trevor] Cahill came in and did a good job. I felt like we needed to tack on a few there."
Lyles was charged with one run on three hits in six innings. The home run was the second of his career.
"He was good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We didn't have much going against him."
The D-backs had much better luck against Brothers.
"Any time you give up the lead, you are obviously [mad]," Brothers said. "Not making that pitch right there, I got to do a better job of not letting it turn into what it did."