5-run 8th sparks Rockies to win over D-backs
DENVER -- Troy Tulowitzki smacked his first career pinch-hit home run to ignite a five-run eighth-inning rally that led the Rockies past the D-backs, 6-4, on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.
"We've done it several times this year -- after a tough loss or a tough stretch, we find a way to get back off the canvas and win a game," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We turned the momentum around, so it's a great win. We win the series with that one. Some guys had some big contributions today."
Behind a strong outing from Rubby De La Rosa the D-backs built a 2-1 lead through seven innings. Tulowitzki led off the eighth with a homer to right off Daniel Hudson (2-3) and things spiraled out of control from there. In all the Rockies walked five times during the inning and Aaron Hill also committed an error that led to a pair of runs.
"Things just kind of snowballed, which they seem to kind of do sometimes here," Hudson said. "It's tough sometimes to stop it. I made a couple of mistakes and they made me pay for it."
The momentum began to shift the Rockies' way in the top of eighth when left fielder Ben Paulsen robbed Chris Owings of a home run. Paulsen also wound up driving in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning on a groundout to second.
"That was a huge at-bat," Paulsen said. "They were playing the shift, and that hole was open. So I knew if I just got a pitch inside or a ball I could put the barrel on, I could do something and score that run."
With the win the Rockies won back-to-back series at Coors Field for the first time this year.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Turning two: Rubby De La Rosa found himself in a tough spot in the fifth as the Rockies loaded the bases with one out. But he got Jorge De La Rosa to hit a grounder to Paul Goldschmidt at first and the D-backs were able to turn a 3-2-3 double play to end the threat.
Mount .500: The D-backs squandered another chance at reaching the .500 mark. It was the 11th time since April 24, when they were last at .500, that they had an opportunity to reach that mark.
"It's one of those things where we're going to have to try to get the monkey off our back eventually and just go out there and win a game," Hudson said. More >
Flashing the leather: The Rockies' outfield made two stellar defensive plays that kept Arizona off the scoreboard. In the eighth, Paulsen -- in the outfield only because of Carlos Gonzalez's hand injury -- robbed Owings of a solo homer that would've given Arizona a 3-1 lead. Charlie Blackmon did his part too in the first, making a running catch in right-center on a drive by Nick Ahmed before slamming into the wall.
"I knew it was in my glove, but I didn't know it went over the wall," Paulsen said. "I just thought I caught it at the wall, so once I realized everybody was waiting on me to show the ball, the umpire gave me that look. And I just showed it to him. It was a cool feeling."
Close call: After Jorge De La Rosa left with a cut on his left middle finger, the Rockies got a second injury scare in the sixth as Michael McKenry and Nolan Arenado collided on a foul pop right in front of the Arizona dugout. McKenry hung onto the ball, but Arenado stayed down on the ground for a few minutes before eventually walking off under his own power. Arenado would then come up in the next half-inning and slug a solo home run to tie the game at 1. More >
"That was probably the best play I've ever made, definitely in the outfield. You can probably count all the times I've played the outfield on your hands and toes, so it was a cool experience" -- Paulsen, on his eighth-inning catch.
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Rockies reliever Justin Miller (1-0) picked up just his second career Major League win and first since May 13, 2014.
D-backs: The D-backs open a three-game set with the Padres on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. MST at Petco Park. Left-hander Robbie Ray will get the start. This is his second straight start against the Padres. Last Saturday against San Diego, Ray allowed three earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Rockies: Chad Bettis gets the ball in Friday's 8:15 p.m. MT series opener at AT&T Park, where Colorado swept the Giants earlier this season. The Rockies have a better road record (15-18) than home record (17-22) this season, but Colorado has lost five of its last six games away from Coors Field.
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