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Castellani gets 1st W in Phoenix homecoming

@JesseSanchezMLB
August 25, 2020

Rockies starter Ryan Castellani went to high school five minutes from Chase Field at Brophy College Preparatory. He married Christy Capobres, a one-time diehard D-backs fan he met through mutual friends while in high school, not far from the downtown stadium. Their son, Jaxon, was born close to Salt River

Rockies starter Ryan Castellani went to high school five minutes from Chase Field at Brophy College Preparatory.

He married Christy Capobres, a one-time diehard D-backs fan he met through mutual friends while in high school, not far from the downtown stadium. Their son, Jaxon, was born close to Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, where the D-backs work out for Spring Training. Castellani is taking online classes at ASU, where he was committed to play before the Rockies made him a second-round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Box score

And while his first trip back to Chase Field as a professional wasn’t under the ideal circumstances, the ending was close to perfect.

The rookie allowed two runs on three hits over six innings in the Rockies 3-2 victory against the D-backs. The win, Castellani’s first of his career, snapped Colorado’s seven-game losing streak. Castellani’s wife and son watched from their home in Scottsdale. His Rockies family cheered him on from the dugout during the 82-pitch outing.

“I grew up going to these games here,” said Castellani, who moved to Arizona from Philadelphia when he was 10. “I've sat everywhere in the stadium, and now for things to come full circle and be on the mound to get my first win here is just amazing.”

His teammates made it a night he will never forget.

Trevor Story put the Rockies ahead with a solo homer, his ninth home run of the season, with one out in the bottom of the first inning. It was the 20th of Story’s career against the D-backs, the second-most home runs against any opponent behind the Giants (21).

Colorado’s second run was less conventional. In the third, Tony Wolters hit a single and advanced to third base on a single up the middle by Raimel Tapia. The throw from D-backs center fielder Starling Marte beat Wolters to third base, but the ball was jarred loose from D-backs third baseman Eduardo Escobar on Wolter’s dive to the bag. Wolters eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Murphy to push the Rockies ahead, 2-0.

Kole Calhoun’s eighth home run of the season in the bottom of the third cut Colorado’s lead to 2-1. Christian Walker tied the game at 2 with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. Castellani never gave in. In the fifth inning, Calhoun was involved in a bizarre play when he was ruled out for intentionally interfering with a thrown ball.

Through it all, the night belonged to Castellani.

“Going back to [Spring Training], I think there was just a different maturity this year than we've seen in past years,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “I think it's just growth. He was in a really good place in Spring Training 1, pitching with confidence and feeling though he was nearing his time to make an impact.”

With Castellani settled back in, the Rockies reclaimed the lead. Wolters hit a double and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth on another single by Tapia. Wolters and Tapia both finished with three hits.

Wolters was removed in the bottom of the ninth after taking a foul tip off his left knee, but said he expects to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

“Earlier in the year, I've been getting hit on the inside part, but that one got me on the outside,” Wolters said. “It must have hit a nerve or something. It went straight to my hip. It wasn’t stiff, but it was dead.”

Daniel Bard, who was a player mentor in the D-backs’ mental skills department last season before reviving his career this year, earned the save.

“We talked a lot about our bullpen and how we are going to use it, and we feel right now that Daniel’s a great option for us in the ninth inning, and it worked out tonight,” Black said. “The guys pitched well. Ryan pitched great. Yency [Almonte] got a couple of big outs to start the seventh. Carlos [Estévez] got four outs, and Daniel had a really nice night.”

Jesse Sanchez, who has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.