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Story seals sweep of Seattle with walk-off blast

MLB.com

DENVER -- After being mobbed and drenched with sports drink and popcorn Sunday afternoon, Trevor Story heads to his first All-Star Game in style.

Story powered his first career walk-off homer over the center-field wall while leading off the ninth inning against Nick Vincent to give the Rockies a 4-3 victory over the Mariners and a three-game sweep of the series at Coors Field.

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DENVER -- After being mobbed and drenched with sports drink and popcorn Sunday afternoon, Trevor Story heads to his first All-Star Game in style.

Story powered his first career walk-off homer over the center-field wall while leading off the ninth inning against Nick Vincent to give the Rockies a 4-3 victory over the Mariners and a three-game sweep of the series at Coors Field.

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The hit lifted the Rockies (51-45) to their 13th victory in their last 16 games, including four in a row, and leaves them two games behind the first-place Dodgers and 1 1/2 behind the D-backs (their opponent in three games at Chase Field out of the break).

Afterward, Story would board a jet with teammates Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon for All-Star festivities in Washington. He said Sunday's homer was his first game-ender as a child or adult. It joins his two-homer debut in 2016 and learning he was an All-Star as pinnacle moments in a career that's growing into quite the Story.

"We feel like we're starting to get hot -- like we're playing the way we're capable of playing," Story said. "More so to do it at this time, that's more special to me."

Video: SEA@COL: Story on his walk-off dinger, gets drenched

It was Story's 20th homer of the season -- second on the club to Arenado's 23. It was the Rockies' first walk-off home run since the famously celebrated Father's Day homer last June 18, when Arenado's shot finished a cycle at Coors against the Giants.

Story had some good swings against Vincent -- "It was a good at-bat, both guys were battling," Rockies manager Bud Black said.

"I said he was going to hit a double on the first pitch," Blackmon said. "I'm glad I was wrong."

In a game played in rain from the first inning on, several hard-hit balls died in the outfield. But Story had no doubts when he clubbed Vincent's cutter.

"It's just one of those things -- I've hit some balls hard, and you start to figure when you know it's gone for sure," Story said.

Arenado said, "He always looks good, being in control. I've been talking about him slowing the game down lately. He was ready."

Rockies starter Tyler Anderson gave up two first-inning runs and threw 28 pitches in the first, but held the Mariners there through six innings with five hits allowed, to go along with six strikeouts and a walk -- all in tough mound conditions. Black figured Anderson was done after 91 pitches, after he needed to force a Denard Span fly ball to end the sixth with two on base.

Video: SEA@COL: Anderson tosses 6 innings of 2-run ball

"It was one of those things where conditions weren't great and you're fighting yourself a little bit, too," Anderson said.

Mariners starter Mike Leake also braved wetness to hold the Rox to two runs (one earned) and six hits in six frames.

Video: SEA@COL: Leake allows 1 earned run over 6 innings

The wet weather played into three scoring plays:

• Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger fielded Arenado's single with DJ LeMahieu and Blackmon on in the second, and Blackmon scored to tie it at 2 after the ball slipped from Haniger's throwing hand.

Video: SEA@COL: Rockies score 2 on error, Arenado's single

• The Mariners took a 3-2 lead in the seventh when Dee Gordon delivered a hit to left -- the second of the inning off Jake McGee -- with Guillermo Heredia at second. Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra's arm is respected, but Mariners third-base coach Scott Brosius took advantage of the conditions and sent Heredia, who easily beat a throw that dribbled to the plate.

Video: SEA@COL: Gordon hits go-ahead RBI single in the 7th

• The Rockies tied it in the seventh on Ian Desmond's triple off Juan Nicasio, which was aided by Haniger slipping while chasing a ball that hit the fence in foul ground. Chris Iannetta's sacrifice fly scored Desmond.

Video: SEA@COL: Iannetta ties the game on a sac fly in 7th

The conditions nearly helped the Mariners in the eighth. With two down and one one against Bryan Shaw, LeMahieu -- a two-time Gold Glove Award-winning second baseman -- slid for Denard Span's grounder, but couldn't make the play.

However, Scott Oberg (4-0) forced a Ben Gamel grounder. Oberg fanned one in a clean ninth for his eighth scoreless appearance in nine games since returning from a lower back strain. With closer Wade Davis and primary setup man Adam Ottavino unavailable because of recent workload, Oberg found himself trusted in a big game. He said he cautioned himself to "not treat this any differently than how I've been throwing in the sixth or seventh."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shaw, in the first year of a three-year, $27 million contract, missed 13 games from June 24 to Wednesday to heal a right calf strain. Sunday was the second appearance of his return, but first in a tight game. A solid performance, even with the hits, puts him back in the mix for big innings after the break.

The cut fastball that hung early in the year, bit downward Sunday, and he would have escaped the eighth without Oberg needing to enter had LeMahieu made the play on Span. The other appearance -- a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and a walk in Wednesday's 19-2 thrashing of the D-backs -- helped build confidence.

"It's building blocks, it's steps," Shaw said. "Having a good one last time, a good one today -- 'Obie' came in and finished the inning for me -- we got the ground balls, got the ball down, got it where we wanted."

SOUND SMART
After an agonizing start at Coors, the Rockies have won 12 of their last 15 to rise to .500 (23-23) at home.

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The replay decision -- after a Mariners challenge -- that allowed the safe call on the seventh-inning triple to stand, highlighted a heady, daring play by Desmond.

Video: SEA@COL: Desmond safe at third with triple on review

Running was a risk, but Haniger's throw to third was wide. Kyle Seager caught it and flipped to Nicasio covering the bag. Desmond, not sliding, stepped on the bag just in time. Desmond, oft-criticized during a first half that ends with a .235 average, has made several heady plays at key times. Desmond also has hit safely in the last six games (11-for-23).

UP NEXT
The Rockies dropped 2-of-3 at Arizona to open the season, but hit seven homers -- three by Blackmon, one by Arenado -- in the three games. The teams hook up again for a three-game series at Chase Field starting Friday night at 7:40 p.m. MT.

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

Colorado Rockies, Trevor Story

USA outslugs World in 8-homer Futures Game

Diaz only 2nd player in game's history to go deep twice
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Nobody told the players in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game that the T-Mobile Home Run Derby wasn't taking place until Monday night.

Box score

WASHINGTON -- Nobody told the players in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game that the T-Mobile Home Run Derby wasn't taking place until Monday night.

Box score

The two sides combined for eight home runs -- doubling the previous Futures Game record -- as the Team USA outslugged the World, 10-6, on All-Star Sunday at Nationals Park.

Yusniel Diaz, the Dodgers' No. 4 prospect, became only the second player in the 20-year history of the Futures Game to go deep twice, but it wasn't enough as the U.S. bashed its way to its second straight win and eighth in the past nine years. 

Video: WLD@USA: Diaz clobbers 2-run jack, game-tying HR

Seven players homered overall in the game, and the eight long balls were more than had been hit in the previous five Futures Games comined, but the decisive run came on a Brendan Rodgers strikeout as Jo Adell (No. 36 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 and the Angels' No. 1 prospect) scored on a wild pitch.

Taylor Trammell (No. 34 overall, Reds' No. 3) earned MVP honors, going 2-for-2 with a home run and a triple.

Video: WLD@USA: Trammell launches a 438-foot homer

"You look at the game, the way it went down, there wasn't much of a difference," World manager David Ortiz said. "It was back-and forth-type of game. To me, that's a good sign to know, as a baseball fan like I am right now, that the future of the game is in great hands."

U.S. Team starter Mitch Keller (No. 12 overall, Pirates' No. 1) showed his stuff in a perfect opening frame.

Video: WLD@USA: Keller K's Basabe, retires the side in order

His offense rewarded him with a two-out rally against World Team starter Jesus Luzardo (No. 20 overall, Athletics' No. 1) in the bottom of the inning as Rodgers (No. 6 overall, Rockies' No. 1) doubled to left field, scoring the game's first run on a single by Rays prospect Nate Lowe.

Justus Sheffield (No. 39 overall, Yankees' No. 2) took the mound for the second inning for the USA, promptly giving up the lead as Seuly Matias (Royals' No. 3) launched a 93.8 mph fastball over the right-field wall, his leadoff homer tying the game.

Video: WLD@USA: Matias puts the World on the board with a HR

Hunter Greene (No. 18 overall, Reds' No. 2) came out firing after relieving Sheffield with one out and a man on base in the third. The right-hander's first pitch clocked in at 100.9 mph, which he followed up with pitches of 102.4, 101.9 and 102.3 mph; unfortunately, the last one was sent soaring over the fence in right-center by Luis Alexander Basabe, the White Sox's No. 13 prospect.

"He's not trying to homer, he's trying to put the ball in play," Ortiz said. "This guy's mindset, at this early stage in his career, he's in the game. It's something that impressed me a lot."

The two-run home run gave the World Team a 3-1 lead, which Luzardo and Bryan Mata (Red Sox's No. 4) held through the third.

Greene threw 19 fastballs during his 27-pitch outing; every one of them registered between 100.0 and 103.1 mph.

Video: WLD@USA: Greene K's Matias swinging in the 3rd inning

"I want someone to look at that and tell me if you see that in the Major League All-Star Game," U.S. manager Torii Hunter said. "You won't see it, I promise."

Team USA battled back in the fourth against Lewis Thorpe (Twins' No. 11), getting a pair of two-run blasts from Danny Jansen (Blue Jays' No. 6) and Ke'Bryan Hayes (No. 92 overall, Pirates' No. 3). Hayes -- the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes -- snapped the tie game with his shot, vaulting the U.S. Team back on top by two runs.

Then again, on this day, a two-run lead didn't feel like much of a lead at all.

Matt Manning (No. 47 overall, Tigers' No. 2) recorded two quick outs in the fifth, but like so many other pitchers Sunday, that third out proved to be more difficult.

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

Fernando Tatis Jr. (No. 3 overall, Padres' No. 1) reached on a two-out single, setting up Diaz's two-run blast to right-center. The No. 85 overall prospect pulled the World Team even again with his blast, the third for his squad and fifth overall between the two teams in the first five frames.

"I gave up one and I was pretty mad, but after watching the rest of the game, that's just the kind of game it was," Manning said. "That's an All-Star lineup. In the Minors, I may get one of those guys a day. To get nine of them at one time is tough, but that's how it's going to be in the big leagues."

Trammell broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth with -- what else -- a solo home run. The 20-year-old, who plays in the Class A Florida State League, launched a 2-2 fastball from Kieran Lovegrove (Indians) to right-center, giving Team USA a 6-5 lead.

This lead vanished quickly, too.

Diaz belted a two-out solo shot off Shaun Anderson (Giants' No. 7) to tie the game at 6 in the seventh inning. It was the second homer of the game for Diaz, who joined Alfonso Soriano as the only players in the game's 20-year history to go deep twice. Soriano hit two homers in the inaugural game back in 1999.

"Those are Minor Leaguers hitting balls like big leaguers," Ortiz said. "That is impressive. I saw balls hit today that I swear, I was watching a Major League Baseball player."

Video: WLD@USA: Ortiz on his lineup, talent on World team

Adell opened the bottom of the seventh with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Rodgers' third strike went to the backstop, giving USA a one-run advantage. That lead swelled to three nine pitches later as Peter Alonso (Mets' No. 2) won a battle with Adonis Medina (No. 74 overall, Phillies' No. 2), crushing a 3-2 fastball down the left-field line. The two-run homer gave Team USA a 9-6 lead.

To nobody's surprise, the World Team threatened to tie the game in the following inning, using a walk and an Alonso error to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out. But Kyle Wright (No. 25 overall, Braves' No. 2) entered the game and restored order, getting a fly ball and a double play to preserve the three-run cushion.

"That was clutch, man," USA pitching coach LaTroy Hawkins said. "We needed him to go in there and throw strikes and he did that."

Dylan Cease (No. 40 overall, White Sox's No. 4) and Luis Ortiz (Brewers' No. 4) finished off the World Team with a scoreless ninth.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Davis uncovering new tricks of trade

MLB.com

DENVER -- Rockies closer Wade Davis' fastball movement was an unpleasant surprise, and he had to get to the bottom of it.

"Probably a month and a half ago, I was cutting the fastball a lot, especially here [at Coors Field], and I wasn't sure why," Davis said. "I was getting a lot of late right-to-left movement that I had never seen before. That was kind of weird."

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DENVER -- Rockies closer Wade Davis' fastball movement was an unpleasant surprise, and he had to get to the bottom of it.

"Probably a month and a half ago, I was cutting the fastball a lot, especially here [at Coors Field], and I wasn't sure why," Davis said. "I was getting a lot of late right-to-left movement that I had never seen before. That was kind of weird."

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Davis started from the ground -- from his feet at the onset of his motion -- and made corrections that gave him a stride and arm path. The improvement has been striking. He no longer looks like the pitcher who blew four saves, which is more than in any full season of his career, by mid-June.

"You break things down from the ground up whenever things are out of whack," Davis said. "Start with your feet. Start with your legs, your hips, your core, your front side -- all that is just part of the chain."

Since giving up four runs on two hits and four walks in a painful blown save and 13-12 loss at Texas on June 17, Davis has put up stingy and increasingly dominant numbers. In 11 games, he has posted a 1.64 ERA, held opponents to a .132 batting average and .412 OPS.

In his last four appearances going into Sunday against the Mariners (the Rockies didn't expect to use him, since he had appeared in three straight games), he has not yielded a baserunner, and he has struck out three of the 12 batters he has faced.

Video: SEA@COL: Davis induces a groundout for his 26th save

"It's a long season," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "There is going to be a little bit of variability. Wade has been pretty steady of late. The ball-strike ratio and the walks are still a little high in the big picture. Wade continues to tinker on the delivery and work on some things. He's a guy that's very in tune with his mechanics and how he feels. But he knows how to navigate through an inning."

Davis isn't done.

"I don't think you're ever right, I think you're always trying to figure something out," he said.

Davis has seen his average fastball velocity gradually decline -- 96.5 mph in 2015, 95.7 in 2016, 94.4 last season and 93.8 this year. Some of that is natural, as he is in his age 32 season, and he dealt with some elbow issues in 2015 with the Royals. But last year with the Cubs, when he converted 32-of-33 save chances, he noticed a slight crossfire enter his delivery. But this year, the first of a three-year, $52 million deal with the Rockies, results told him he had to correct.

Not only has he seen a recent spike in pitches above 94 mph -- but his cutter has become more effective. In a perfect ninth in Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Mariners, he used the cutter more because of the natural fatigue from pitching the two previous days. He picked a few pitches to hit 95, but in general, trusted that his improved mechanics would help his secondary pitches.

"Whenever you're able to slow things down, you can change speeds a lot easier, more comfortably," Davis said. "You can go in, go down and away, go back and forth a little bit more, instead of raring back and throwing a baseball."

Out of the break

Black has not announced the rotation for the second half, but the Rockies are expected to start righty German Marquez (8-8, 4.81 ERA) on Friday and lefty Kyle Freeland (8-6, 3.11) Saturday at Arizona. Righty Jon Gray (8-7, 5.44) and lefty Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.76) are expected to be part of the plan, and righty Antonio Senzatela (3-2, 5.34) should be in the mix if the right middle finger blister that cost him Friday's start heals.

Video: SEA@COL: Gray holds Mariners to one run in MLB return

Righty Chad Bettis (5-1, 5.10), also on the disabled list with a right middle finger blister, is expected to throw a Minor League rehab game next weekend.

Roster move

The Rockies recalled righty reliever Carlos Estevez (right elbow sprain) from the 60-day DL, then optioned him to Triple-A Albuquerque, where he has been pitching. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Rockies outrighted righty Brooks Pounders to Albuquerque. Pounders was 0-1 with a 7.63 ERA before being optioned to Albuquerque on June 26.

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

Colorado Rockies, Wade Davis

Gray dominates, earns win in big league return

MLB.com

DENVER -- Jon Gray fought his emotions when he walked off the mound to a standing ovation of 47,789 fans at Coors Field.

He didn't know if he was going to cry. He didn't know if he was going to laugh. He didn't know much of anything, except that he finally felt good on that mound Saturday night, limiting the Mariners to just four hits and leading the Rockies to a 4-1 victory -- their 12th win in the last 15 games.

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DENVER -- Jon Gray fought his emotions when he walked off the mound to a standing ovation of 47,789 fans at Coors Field.

He didn't know if he was going to cry. He didn't know if he was going to laugh. He didn't know much of anything, except that he finally felt good on that mound Saturday night, limiting the Mariners to just four hits and leading the Rockies to a 4-1 victory -- their 12th win in the last 15 games.

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"I didn't think I was ever going to have that feeling again," Gray said, again fighting his emotions in the clubhouse after the game.

After being demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque on June 30 and making two starts, the Rockies right-hander threw a season-high 7 1/3 innings. His one earned run didn't come until the eighth inning, and he struck out six while walking just one batter.

It was, in all senses, a completely new pitcher on the mound for the Rockies. Before being demoted, Gray was 7-7 with a 5.77 ERA in 17 starts. He lacked command in his pitches and composure with runners in scoring position, allowing a .819 OPS in those situations.

Not on Saturday. Gray didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, when Jean Segura singled, and the Mariners were just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Rockies manager Bud Black said Gray had command on the outside corner to right-handed batters and was able to throw the ball in and away to left-handers. His slider was effective, and, overall, he kept the ball down.

"Jon was pitching with conviction, even going into his side session a couple of days ago, Steve [Foster] and Darren [Holmes] noticed a marked difference in Jon," Black said. "Jon was determined today to get back on track."

Even his look was a bit different. Gray trimmed his hair and beard a couple of days before Saturday, and, for the first time all year, he lowered his pant cuffs to his ankles, instead of having them above the calf.

"Changed it all," Gray said. "Started over. Fresh start."

His approach was one he took when pitching in Albuquerque -- be natural.

"Just try to take so many things out of my mind, so many mechanical things out of my mind and just make good pitches," Gray said. "See the out in your head and make the pitch. It was that simple today."

In the eighth inning, Gray gave up a single to Ben Gamel, along with an RBI double to Chris Herrmann. Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino replaced Gray with two runners on and one out, but Ottavino saved the day by inducing a fielder's choice and striking out Segura. Wade Davis threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning and got the save.

Video: SEA@COL: Davis K's Span, notches 27th save of year

The Rockies secured their second series win over the Mariners this season, the first coming in Seattle last weekend. Colorado has won five consecutive series against teams above .500 for the first time in franchise history. The Rockies haven't won five straight series since 2014, when they beat the Phillies, the Giants, the Dodgers, the D-backs, the Mets and the Rangers from April 18-May 8.

Having Gray back in the rotation -- and pitching the way he did on Saturday night -- could do wonders for the Rockies down the stretch. Gray was the Opening Day starter the last two seasons and the arm the Rockies tabbed for their first playoff game in eight years in 2017.

And while there are still pitches he wants to work on, Gray said he still feels like he's getting better with each outing.

"I saw so much negative for a while, that it was hard to see positives," Gray said. "But I've seen a lot of positives lately, and it's been easier to believe in it. And when I believe in my stuff, I feel like I'm going to win that game."

The Rockies' offense gave Gray a lead to work with early in the game, with Carlos Gonzalez's two-run home run in the second inning, along with an RBI triple from Ian Desmond and an RBI single from Nolan Arenado in the fifth. Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot, with usual leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu scratched from the lineup with lower back stiffness.

Video: SEA@COL: Desmond drives an RBI triple to center field

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gonzalez appreciated Gray's dominance, noting, "playing defense behind him was relaxing -- not a lot of action." But Gonzalez provided action with his bat to help Gray.

His homer -- which left the bat at 110.5 mph and traveled a projected 455 feet, according to Statcast™ -- was Gonzalez's fourth in 20 career at-bats against LeBlanc -- 7-for-20 (.350) with seven RBIs. Gonzalez also homered off LeBlanc in last Sunday's 6-4 loss at Seattle.

Video: SEA@COL: CarGo hammers a homer 455 feet

LeBlanc blamed himself.

"It didn't move at all," LeBlanc said. "It moved a lot after he hit it, really quickly. It was a mistake. I made a lot of mistakes tonight. That was on the inner half, down, right where lefties like it. But he's had some success against me. I've struggled with execution against him in the past and it showed up again tonight."

Gonzalez had a severe early-season slump, but this month, he is hitting .375 (15-for-40) with four of his 11 homers and 12 of his 41 RBIs.

"I said it when I was struggling, and I'll say it now: I still feel like I've got a lot in the tank, and I've still got a good game to contribute and help us reach our goals," he said.

SOUND SMART
Gray's 1-2-3 first marked the first time a Rockies' starter has not yielded a first-inning run since last Saturday at Seattle, and the first time it has happened at home since July 4 against the Giants.

HE SAID IT
"That's what I play for, the guys behind me. You feel like a disappointment sometimes when you're not there for them, when you're going through something bad. But just to see them smiling tonight and know that we're having a good time together, that's all I could have hoped for." -- Gray, on the most satisfying aspect of Saturday

UP NEXT
Left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.76 ERA) has pitched a total of 22 innings in his last three starts -- eight each on June 29 and July 4 against the Dodgers and the Giants and another six on Tuesday against the D-backs. He went 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA in those three starts, with seven walks, 25 strikeouts and just one earned run. He'll look to go far into another game for the Rockies in Sunday's series finale against the Mariners' right-hander Mike Leake (8-6, 4.36 ERA) at 1:10 p.m. MT. Anderson has a 3.60 career ERA at Coors Field, but this season, he is 2-3 with a 4.05 ERA at home.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @anne__rogers.

Colorado Rockies, Jon Gray

Dahl set for rehab; Musgrave (hip) placed on DL

MLB.com

DENVER -- Outfielder David Dahl was eager to leave for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday for the next step in rehabbing a foot injury. He's even more excited about returning to the Rockies.

Dahl, returning from a broken right foot when he fouled a ball off it during a game against the Giants, will continue baseball activities until his injury rehab assignment begins. The plan is to start playing games next Friday, but Dahl said he could be playing sooner.

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DENVER -- Outfielder David Dahl was eager to leave for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday for the next step in rehabbing a foot injury. He's even more excited about returning to the Rockies.

Dahl, returning from a broken right foot when he fouled a ball off it during a game against the Giants, will continue baseball activities until his injury rehab assignment begins. The plan is to start playing games next Friday, but Dahl said he could be playing sooner.

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"I think I can play right now," said Dahl, who batted .275 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in 32 games after his original callup from Albuquerque. "But I think if I can play, like, three straight nine-inning games, I'll be cleared to come back. It depends on how I'm feeling. I imagine before that, it'll be five innings, then seven innings -- a progression."

When previously with the club, Carlos Gonzalez was struggling through an early slump and Gerardo Parra missed time because of a suspension and was coming out of his own slow start. Dahl was heating up in his last seven games before the injury -- 7-for-20 with two homers, a double and six RBIs.

Now, Gonzalez and Parra are key components of a contending club. But Dahl plans to be ready to be an impact bat. The best case would be a repeat of 2016, when he debuted on July 25, tied a Major League record with hits in his first 17 games, and finished the year hitting .315 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 63 games.

"I try not to think about when I come up here, where I'll be playing," Dahl said. "Hopefully, I'll go back down there and pick up where I left off with my swing. I want to be back up here as quickly as possible and help the team. We're in a playoff race."

Musgrave to disabled list

Left-handed pitcher Harrison Musgrave was put on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip flexor strain on Saturday, after he pitched three innings against the Mariners and received his first Major League win.

Musgrave said the injury flared up during his last handful of pitches in the seventh inning and might have affected the two walks he gave up to Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger.

"It wasn't too bad, but when the adrenaline goes away, you kind of start feeling it a little more," Musgrave said. "Then it lasted into last night and today, so the 10 days should be good rest."

With the All-Star break next week, Rockies manager Bud Black said Musgrave shouldn't miss more than the three-game series against the D-backs after the break.

Outside of the injury, Musgrave said his transition for starting in the Minors to relief work in the Majors has been smooth.

"A lot of starters take a while to get loose, but I've never had that issue, so throwing quickly to get loose is going fine," Musgrave said. "I hadn't been getting sore, so I've been throwing every few days. Other than this, it's been good physically. My body has felt fine."

To replace Musgrave, the Rockies called up left-hander Sam Howard, who was scheduled to make a start in Albuquerque on Saturday.

"I felt like we needed a few reinforcements for our bullpen because we have a few guys who might not be able to pitch today," Black said. "We might have them down, so let's bring Sammy up because he's fresh and ready to go. We've got length with Sam and Yency [Almonte]."

Wolters takes one to the neck

Catcher Tony Wolters received attention from assistant athletic trainer Scott Gehret on Friday after being hit by Denard Span's backswing during the Rockies' 10-7 victory. The incident sparked concern because Wolters has been on the disabled list twice with concussions since debuting in 2016. However, Wolters said Span's bat did not catch him flush in the back of the head, but rather glanced the head protector on the back of his hockey goalie-style mask and hit his neck.

Wolters has received the least playing time in the Rockies' current three-catcher mix (with Chris Iannetta and Tom Murphy), but his last three starts have been solid offensively -- 4-for-12 with three triples and six RBIs.

Video: SEA@COL: Wolters extends the lead with a 2-run single

"Just trying to be on time, see the ball, keep a simple approach," Wolters said.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page. Anne Rogers also contributed to this report.

Colorado Rockies, David Dahl

Story time: Trevor homers, drives in 4 in Rox win

MLB.com

DENVER -- Even after scoring six runs over two innings to build a seven-run lead in the middle of Friday night's 10-7 victory over the Mariners, the Rockies knew it wouldn't be over.

And in a Coors Field game that felt like anything could happen, it wasn't over. The Mariners built a seventh-inning rally, but the Rockies held on in the series opener that was backed by their offense compiling 14 hits.

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DENVER -- Even after scoring six runs over two innings to build a seven-run lead in the middle of Friday night's 10-7 victory over the Mariners, the Rockies knew it wouldn't be over.

And in a Coors Field game that felt like anything could happen, it wasn't over. The Mariners built a seventh-inning rally, but the Rockies held on in the series opener that was backed by their offense compiling 14 hits.

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"We try to keep the pedal to the metal throughout the whole game, no matter where we're playing and no matter who it is," Rockies shortstop Trevor Story said. "We know that team over there is a really good team, and we respect them a lot. We knew it wouldn't be over quick."

Gerardo Parra, Ian Desmond and Tony Wolters all singled in runners to run the score up to 8-3 in the fifth, and the Rockies scored two more in the sixth to score double-digits in two of their last three games.

Video: SEA@COL: Wolters extends the lead with a 2-run single

Colorado (49-45) has won three straight and eight of its last 10 games to keep pace in a tight National League West race.

With right-hander Jeff Hoffman serving as the emergency starter for the Rockies, who scratched Antonio Senzatela with a right middle finger blister, the club had to find a way to win. They found it with eight two-out RBIs.

"The approach the guys are taking, it's been pretty solid," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "It's nice to see with two outs because those -- from the other side -- break your back a little bit. So, proud of our guys in that regard, and we've been swinging the bat better."

Going into Friday night, the Rockies were batting .240 with two outs and runners in scoring position, second only to the Braves in the National League. But they aren't consciously thinking about the number of outs there are when they're at the plate, Story said.

"It's just when guys are out there, you want to bring them in," Story said. "And I think it's just as simple as that."

Rockies batters put together nine up-the-middle or opposite-field hits. With a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning, Charlie Blackmon homered for the fifth time since his day off from the starting lineup on July 1. Story continued his hot streak with a two-run homer in the third inning to make it 4-2, along with tallying his team-leading 67th RBI this season.

Video: SEA@COL: Blackmon gets Rockies on the board with a HR

With his two-RBI double in the sixth that increased the lead to 10-3, Story set the record for most RBIs by a National League shortstop prior to the All-Star break.

Video: SEA@COL: Story sets record for RBIs by NL SS at break

Hoffman, who was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to make his first Major League start of the season, threw 77 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. He was on pitch-count watch after throwing 45 and 59 pitches in his two starts in Albuquerque, respectively. He previously made five bullpen appearances with Colorado in June. Hoffman gave up four hits and two runs in the first inning to put the Rockies in an early deficit.

"The competitor in me wants to say that I wanted to be better, wanted to go longer," Hoffman said. "But at the same time, in the process of building back up, throwing 100 pitches tonight wasn't really realistic."

Hoffman's two-run deficit came on two soft singles and a throwing error when he tried to pick off Jean Segura in the first. But he limited the damage at two, and got out of the next two innings unscathed.

Video: SEA@COL: Gordon scores on failed pickoff attempt

"I've been through a good amount in the big leagues, had my failures and my successes," he said. "Every time something like that happens, you think back to, 'This is how I failed last time, so this is how I gotta try to get better.'"

The offense came through to pull Hoffman out of his hole, which is something that might not have happened in June, when the Rockies' pitching slumped to a 6.20 ERA. The offense failed to make much happen, leading to an 11-16 month.

But now, the Rockies are 10-3 over their last 13 games at home, and 8-3 in July.

"We're on a good roll right now," Story said. "It's all about pitching and timely hitting, and we've done that well lately. We're a very confident team, both offensively and defensively, so we feel like we can be really good."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With Hoffman making the emergency start, it stood to reason that multiple relievers were necessary. When the Rockies took a seven-run lead into the seventh, however, it looked to be a much-needed night off for setup men Scott Oberg and Adam Ottavino, and closer Wade Davis. However, all three worked in the game, with Davis earning his 26th save.

Video: SEA@COL: Davis induces a groundout for his 26th save

The issue was Harrison Musgrave's sudden loss of control in the seventh, when he walked two and gave up Kyle Seager's RBI single with one out. Denard Span's two-run triple off Chris Rusin followed. Oberg, who struck out two of the three batters he faced and yielded only Ben Gamel's RBI single, prevented the game from truly spinning negatively.

Video: SEA@COL: Span drills a 2-run triple to center

Musgrave (1-3) was solid for most of his three innings, while earning his first Major League win, but there is room for improvement.

"He's a heady pitcher," Black said. "He knows that for his career to continue and be successful, he can't walk guys at the rate that he's walking, but I love the fact that he doesn't scare off."

Musgrave's outing was extended because righty Bryan Shaw -- just back from a right calf strain and an early-season slump -- is still trying to prove he can be used in tight situations.

Oberg has held opponents to one run in his last eight appearances since returning from a lower-back strain.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Gene Hackman's character in the movie "Hoosiers" would have been proud. Remember the scene when he told his team to throw at least five passes before shooting? Well, the Rockies took that advice to heart on the diamond in the fourth inning.

Wolters scooped a Hoffman pitch out of the dirt and caught Gamel too far from first, firing to Desmond at first.

It was the first of five throws that it took to record an out.

The ball went from Wolters, to Desmond, to Story, to DJ LeMahieu, to Wolters -- who slipped, dropped the ball, then picked it up to keep the rundown going, to LeMahieu, to Story and finally to third baseman Nolan Arenado for the tag between first and second.

Video: SEA@COL: Rockies tag out Gamel after long rundown

"It was not the best rundown," Story said. "I feel like he was timing his turns perfectly every time. That usually doesn't happen.

"We just needed to cut down on a couple throws there."

The play saved the Rockies a run. The next batter, Chris Herrmann, tripled, and scored on Bergman's single. In a game that went lopsided, but ended close, the play turned out meaningful.

HE SAID IT
"They were just hitting it perfect for me, I guess. The pitching got a lot of great ground balls for us." -- LeMahieu, discussing his multiple sliding defensive plays -- on his 30th birthday

Video: SEA@COL: LeMahieu makes 3 awesome defensive plays

UP NEXT
After two Triple-A starts -- one good (six innings, two runs) one dicey (4 2/3 innings, 102 pitches) -- righty Jon Gray returns to the Majors to face the Mariners and lefty Wade LeBlanc (5-0, 3.99) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. MT. Gray (7-7, 5.77 before being sent down) has said he needs to clear his mind of mechanics and negative thoughts, and just let his ability flow. Saturday is his chance to do so.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @anne__rogers.

Colorado Rockies, Trevor Story

Gray set for Saturday; Senzatela (blister) hits DL

MLB.com

DENVER -- Jon Gray hopes a little bit of quiet time is all he needs.

After two starts at Triple-A Albuquerque to, as he put it, "hit the reset button," Gray will return to the Rockies to start Saturday night against the Mariners. Gray's callup was needed because right-hander Chad Bettis' right middle finger blister has not healed in time for him to come off the 10-day disabled list.

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DENVER -- Jon Gray hopes a little bit of quiet time is all he needs.

After two starts at Triple-A Albuquerque to, as he put it, "hit the reset button," Gray will return to the Rockies to start Saturday night against the Mariners. Gray's callup was needed because right-hander Chad Bettis' right middle finger blister has not healed in time for him to come off the 10-day disabled list.

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It was one of two blister-related pitching items on Friday. The Rockies scratched righty Antonio Senzatela because of a right middle finger blister that became infected over the last few days and forced him to the 10-day DL. Righty Jeff Hoffman came up from Albuquerque to start in his place.

Gray was 7-7 with a 5.77 ERA in 17 starts when he was optioned to Albuquerque on June 30. It was a major move, considering Gray made the Rockies' last two Opening Day starts and started last year's National League Wild Card Game, which was the team's first postseason contest in eight years.

Gray pitched his way to Albuquerque with a strange performance. At the time of the demotion, he was fourth in the National League in strikeouts with 119 and second in strikeouts per nine innings at 11.64, but he also led the league by giving up 108 hits. Runners on base (.892 OPS against) and key situations (.819 OPS with runners in scoring position) were issues.

He worked through delivery problems, such as his stride and his separation, and at times, those actions clouded his mind in games. He vows to finally put that behind him.

"Just lessen information and focusing on what I do best," Gray said. "Just kind of letting it take over. Not thinking about trying to create all these things and do all these things, I've just been letting myself work the way I do."

One of his Triple-A starts bordered on dominant -- six innings, six strikeouts, two hits, two runs. In the other, the numbers were reminiscent of the Major League performances -- 102 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, with three runs (two earned), five hits, four walks and seven strikeouts.

There have also been concerning velocity dips, especially in his last three Major League starts, along with his last start at Albuquerque.

But with the All-Star break coming, and two pitchers dealing with blisters, Gray has a chance to pull himself together and be the rotation lynchpin that the Rockies expect him to be.

"Jon has proven to be a very capable Major League starter," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He's delivered many times as a big league starter the past couple of years. We're confident that Jon can do that tomorrow."

Senzatela (3-2, 5.34 ERA) has made two starts for the Rockies this season -- seven innings, no runs or walks, three hits, four strikeouts against the Giants on July 3, and six innings, five hits and six runs against the Mariners on Sunday in Seattle. Senzatela said after his bullpen session on Tuesday that the blister showed up Wednesday and worsened Thursday.

Video: SF@COL: Senzatela strikes out 4 over 7 shutout frames

"Yesterday, when I woke up in the morning, it was crazy -- too big, and they cut it off and cleaned it because it was infected," said Senzatela, who plans to play catch on Saturday -- without tape on his finger -- and will try to keep his arm in shape for when he returns.

Senzatela said blisters can affect his breaking balls. Friday was the first time in three years he has missed a start because of the condition.

"I'm not a dermatologist, and I don't pretend to be," Black said. "So, I can't describe it in medical terms, but the blister turning into an infection cost him his start."

Tapia time

Black had lefty-hitting Raimel Tapia prepared to pinch-hit in a key sixth-inning moment on Thursday, but he could have changed his mind, since the D-backs went with lefty reliever Andrew Chafin. But Black stayed the course, and Tapia made it pay off with a single to right field. It was a key hit in the 5-1 victory.

Video: ARI@COL: Tapia lines a go-ahead RBI single in the 6th

Tapia has demonstrated a better approach as a starter (1-for-3 with a double, two runs and a walk last Saturday at Seattle, for example) than off the bench, but Thursday's hit could win him more chances.

"It showed Buddy and the team has the confidence in me to do my job," Tapia said. "It doesn't matter what pitcher is out there, and for me to come through against a lefty, gives me even more confidence going out and doing what I do."

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

Colorado Rockies, Jon Gray, Antonio Senzatela

Arenado's glove spurs series win over D-backs

Freeland, 'pen hold Arizona to 1 run in comeback win
MLB.com

DENVER -- Nolan Arenado stood crouched, slightly in front of third base, on high alert.

There's no way he could have planned what happened next, but if he had planned it, he executed it perfectly -- and showed why the Rockies are lucky to have the All-Star as their third baseman.

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DENVER -- Nolan Arenado stood crouched, slightly in front of third base, on high alert.

There's no way he could have planned what happened next, but if he had planned it, he executed it perfectly -- and showed why the Rockies are lucky to have the All-Star as their third baseman.

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D-backs catcher John Ryan Murphy hit a hard grounder to the heel of Arenado's glove, and the ball bounced straight up. Arenado grabbed it at eye level with his bare hand and fired it to home plate, where Chris Iannetta was waiting to collide with Steven Souza Jr. sliding home. Souza was out, and Arenado's key play spurred the Rockies to a 5-1 win over the D-backs Thursday and a series win over a divisional opponent.

"There was one out," Arenado said. "I had a feeling [Souza] was going to go home. They were going on contact. So my plan was, if it's hit to me, I'm going to try to go home. So I tried to plan it out. Obviously, I didn't plan that out -- top-spinner at me and popping up into the air. But I try to be prepared every time."

It was the Rockies' first series win against the D-backs this season and tightened the NL West race.

The win also might be part of a Rockies turnaround against the D-backs, who, after winning the series opener on Tuesday, had won nine consecutive games at Coors Field.The Rockies have won the last three out of four series at home and have a chance to win another this weekend against the Mariners.

"It's a tight race, so any game against [Arizona] is going to be big," said Trevor Story, who hit his 18th home run of the season -- a seventh-inning solo shot off Randall Delgado for a 4-1 lead.

Video: ARI@COL: Story launches a solo homer to right in 7th

After scoring a slew of runs on Wednesday night, the Rockies were stifled by left-hander Robbie Ray on Thursday. That is, until the sixth inning, when Silvino Bracho replaced Ray with two runners on. Gerardo Parra and Raimel Tapia both knocked pinch-hit, RBI singles to give the Rockies the 2-1 lead, and DJ LeMahieu's sacrifice fly off Andrew Chafin made it 3-1.

Video: ARI@COL: Tapia lines a go-ahead RBI single in the 6th

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland pitched solidly for 5 2/3 innings, and bullpen pitchers threw effectively after Freeland exited, with Adam Ottavino surrendering the only hit in that time. Scott Oberg and Chris Rusin put together zeros across the board, and Wade Davis closed things out.

"The starter goes out there and goes as long as he can, and in most cases, in most games these days, you're going to see three or four relievers," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "And if those guys do their job, we've got a great chance to win. And if one guy falters, it might be a loss."

The Rockies have had a tough time of stringing together relievers who put together good outings, but Thursday -- against a strong D-backs lineup -- was a good sign for the bullpen.

Freeland gave up a first-inning run but allowed only three hits after the first inning. He pitched his way out of a jam in the fourth inning, when Souza led with a triple. Freeland struck out Ketel Marte, Murphy and Ray to leave Souza stranded.

"For me, it was a grind," Freeland said. "You gotta recognize what's working and what's not working, go with your strengths on those things and do what you can to keep them as close as possible and give your team a chance to win."

Video: ARI@COL: Freeland freezes Goldschmidt for the K

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The D-backs' A.J. Pollock nearly had a game-breaking hit with two out in the fifth, but a strong wind toward home plate in the middle innings and the glove of left fielder Noel Cuevas helped Freeland.

Nick Ahmed had doubled with one out. Paul Goldschmidt lined to second baseman LeMahieu.

Pollock crushed a changeup to left-center and, well …

"Once I saw the swing, heard the crack of the bat, I thought it was gone," Freeland said. "I turn around, let out a couple of words, then look out in left field, and Cuevas is making the catch."

As the Coors Field crowd erupted, Freeland bent, hands on knees, feeling saved from at least one run.

Video: ARI@COL: Cuevas leaps for a tough grab at the wall

UP NEXT
Righty Antonio Senzatela (3-2, 5.34 ERA) carries good and bad memories into his start against the Mariners in Friday's 6:40 p.m. MT opener of three games at Coors Field. Senzatela's last home start was his first start of the season, and he threw seven scoreless innings with four strikeouts while beating the Giants on July 3. But on Sunday, he faced the Mariners in Seattle and gave up six runs on five hits in six innings. Senzatela struggled early and late, but in the middle innings, he pitched smoothly. The Mariners will counter with Christian Bergman, who tossed seven scoreless innings on May 16 in his only Major League appearance in 2018.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @anne__rogers.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado, Kyle Freeland

Predicting Deadline strategies in NL West

How deals in recent past could foretell moves this month
MLB.com

Three weeks from now, the makeup of the five National League West rosters could be decidedly different.

• Catch up on the latest Trade Talk

Three weeks from now, the makeup of the five National League West rosters could be decidedly different.

• Catch up on the latest Trade Talk

With the non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching, MLB.com went back to the future to look at recent deals made by all five NL West clubs -- and how those moves might impact decision making between now and July 31.

D-BACKS
The deal: On Feb. 20, the D-backs traded Brandon Drury, Anthony Banda and two players to be named later in a three-team deal with the Rays and Yankees to acquire outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League pitcher Taylor Widener.

How it matters for this year's team: Souza strained his right pectoral muscle in Spring Training and has spent most of the year on the disabled list. Now back, he is still looking to regain the form he showed with the Rays. Meanwhile, those prospects turned into Sam McWilliams and Colin Poche, who have been strong in Tampa Bay's system this season.

Video: SD@ARI: Souza hammers a 2-run homer to deep center

What it tells us about the next 19 days: The D-backs are definitely buyers. But the Souza deal is the latest example of a trade that served to drain the farm system. With an already-thin crop of prospects, Arizona is hesitant to part with more inventory. (Plus, the loss of Banda dug into its starting-pitching depth.)

du

DODGERS
The deal(s): Los Angeles acquired Yu Darvish (in 2017), Rich Hill (in '16) and Alex Wood (in '15) leading up to the past three Trade Deadlines.

What it has meant for this year's team: Darvish proved an expensive rental. Hill and Wood are still in the rotation, and they could play an important role in the Dodgers' quest for a sixth straight NL West title. Both have struggled at times this season, but they'll figure prominently if Los Angeles makes another push toward October.

Video: COL@LAD: Hill K's 10 over 6 2/3 innings of 1-run ball

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Clearly, the Dodgers aren't afraid to work out a deal for a big name -- which is why they've been linked to Manny Machado and Zach Britton of the Orioles. They will likely make multiple deals in the coming weeks, finding creative ways to move payroll and stay under the tax threshold.

GIANTS
The deal: Earlier this month, the Giants dealt Cory Gearrin, Austin Jackson and Jason Bahr to the Rangers for a player to be named later.

What it has meant for this year's team: San Francisco lost two pieces from its roster, but both had struggled and neither was going to play much of role in the second half anyway. More than anything, the Giants gave themselves some operating room under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold.

Video: TEX@DET: Rangers acquire Jackson, Gearrin and Bahr

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Without Jackson and Gearrin, the Giants have room to maneuver before they hit the tax threshold. They'll conceivably be more active before the Deadline than many initially thought. Then again, San Francisco always takes an active approach toward the Deadline. They could use an outfield bat -- to upgrade from Jackson. The Giants could use a veteran reliever -- to upgrade from Gearrin. And now they have the financial flexibility to do so.

PADRES
The deal: At last year's Deadline, the Padres sent starter Trevor Cahill and relievers Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer to the Royals for Matt Strahm, Esteury Ruiz and Travis Wood.

What it has meant for this year's team: Strahm is cementing himself as an integral part of San Diego's future pitching staff -- though it's uncertain whether that's as a starter or a reliever. He owns a 2.67 ERA in 17 appearances -- including five starts. Ruiz, meanwhile, is the Padres' No. 11 prospect and has held his own as a 19-year-old infielder at Class A Fort Wayne.

Video: SD@SF: Strahm gets McCutchen looking to end the 1st

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Closer Brad Hand was available at last year's Deadline, too, but San Diego set a high price, and he wasn't moved. If the same thing happens in 2018, it's entirely possible we see a repeat of the Deadline deal last summer. Like Cahill, the Padres have a solid righty starting option in Tyson Ross. Like Buchter and Maurer, they have relief weapons available in Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen. If the Friars create a package of multiple pitchers, it could fetch them a nice return -- like it did a season ago.

ROCKIES
The deal: A year ago, the Rockies swung two trades in the span of a week, netting catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers and reliever Pat Neshek from the Phillies. The key pieces in both trades were young, controllable prospects.

What it has meant for this year's team: Lucroy is with Oakland, Neshek is back with Philadelphia, and Colorado is two prospects lighter. (But the duo did help lift the Rockies to their first postseason berth in eight years.)

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Colorado hasn't yet decided whether it's a buyer or a seller this summer. But general manager Jeff Bridich has established a philosophy for both possibilities. If the Rockies continue to push toward contention, a similar trade or two might be in the works. If they fall too far back in the NL West, they'll look to replenish the prospects they lost at last year's Deadline.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies

Rockies stun D-backs with 19-run thrashing

Four Colorado batters homer, including Gonzalez twice, starter Marquez
MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies didn't just end an unseemly losing streak against the D-backs on Wednesday night. They obliterated it.

Carlos Gonzalez homered twice and drove in six runs, Ian Desmond's first-inning blast accounted for three of his five RBIs, and Charlie Blackmon and pitcher German Marquez also went deep as the Rockies romped Arizona, 19-2, at Coors Field -- where the D-backs had previously won nine straight times.

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DENVER -- The Rockies didn't just end an unseemly losing streak against the D-backs on Wednesday night. They obliterated it.

Carlos Gonzalez homered twice and drove in six runs, Ian Desmond's first-inning blast accounted for three of his five RBIs, and Charlie Blackmon and pitcher German Marquez also went deep as the Rockies romped Arizona, 19-2, at Coors Field -- where the D-backs had previously won nine straight times.

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"I don't know," said Blackmon, whose Statcast-projected 434-foot homer off Jorge De La Rosa in the third was his deepest of the season. "We just whacked the ball tonight. I would like to think that it means we're going to continue to do that, but realistically, you're not going to score 19 runs a lot.

"But at the same time, we did a really good job playing the game also. So it wasn't a complete fluke -- there was some good play in there."

Video: ARI@COL: Blackmon belts a 2-run dinger to center

More important than the game stats was that the Rockies finished the night 3 1/2 games behind the National League West-leading D-backs and with a chance to win an important pre-All-Star break series. And they ended their longest losing streak at Coors against any club.

"We have a chance to win a series tomorrow, and they have a chance, also," said Nolan Arenado, whose 2-for-3 night with two RBIs seemed ho-hum in comparison with some of his teammates. "If we can get tomorrow's win, I think we'll feel really good. That's what we're going to be focusing on."

Video: ARI@COL: Arenado grounds an RBI single to center

The 19 runs fell just short of the club record of 20, which has happened three times, the last in a 20-8 victory over the Giants on Sept 18, 2006.

But let's count the ways it was memorable:

• Marquez, who overcame Paul Goldschmidt's first-inning homer to hold the D-backs to two runs and six hits while striking out eight in five innings, hit the first homer by a Rockies pitcher this season -- a 447-foot solo shot in the fifth off Daniel Descalso.

Video: ARI@COL: Marquez belts his 1st MLB homer off Descalso

Marquez's first career homer also was the third-deepest home run by a pitcher since Statcast™ began tracking projected distances in 2015. The deepest happened to be the last homer by a Rockies pitcher, Jon Gray, last July 5 at Coors Field, followed by D-backs pitcher Taijuan Walker at Chase Field last July 25.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't say sometimes, 'I've gotta go yard at some point,' and I'm glad that it happened tonight," Marquez said.

• That's right, Marquez's homer came off Descalso -- the utility man who spent 2015-16 with the Rockies. Descalso was pitching in the fourth inning, which was the earliest a position player had taken the mound since the Brewers' Sal Bando did it Aug. 29, 1979, in an 18-8 loss to the Royals. Descalso threw 2 2/3 innings and gave up four hits and three runs. Descalso threw the most innings by a true position player since the Cardinals' Jose Oquendo threw four on May 14, 1988.

• It's just the second time in the expansion era (since 1961) that a pitcher has homered off a true position player. The Giants' Mike LaCoss went deep off the Padres' Dane Iorg on June 23, 1986.

"It was just a matter of time for [Marquez] to hit a homer," Arenado said. "Descalso's only throwing, like, 50 mph. But you watch [Marquez's] batting practice and he has ridiculous power. He launches balls out of the ballpark."

• The Rockies forced the D-backs to use two position players on the mound. Alex Avila threw scoreless ball in the final two innings.

• Blackmon's homer put him ninth in home runs in a Rockies uniform with 129. He broke a tie with Matt Holliday (2004-08).

• For Gonzalez, it was his first multi-homer game since last Sept. 12 at Arizona.

Video: ARI@COL: CarGo belts 2 homers in big win over D-backs

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Desmond caps a rally: Before the score turned lopsided, Desmond's homer was a key hit. The Rockies had a 2-1 lead and two outs in the first against on D-backs starter Shelby Miller, who would leave after the inning with right forearm soreness. Miller fanned Gerardo Parra -- the only Rockies starter not to manage a hit.

But Desmond whacked a 2-1 pitch 472 feet -- his deepest of the season -- onto the concourse beyond the left-field wall. It was Desmond's 18th homer, which tied him with Blackmon for second on the team. Although Desmond is hitting .223, he has had a knack for important swings and plays to ignite the Rockies.

Video: ARI@COL: Desmond drills 472-foot homer at 110.4 mph

"Knowing Ian like I do, the mental toughness and the self-confidence that players have, that Ian has shown through this season, that was arguably the biggest swing of the game," Rockies manager Bud Black said.

Marquez's overlooked gem: The Rockies' first four innings left Marquez waiting a long time to take the mound again.

Marquez allowed just one walk and one hit while striking out five in innings 2-5.

Video: ARI@COL: Marquez strikes out Pollock in the 6th

"That's not easy," Black said. "To keep the concentration, and you know that what's expected, it seems easy from the outside with a huge lead. Just throw strikes, it's easier said than done. I really like the way that he responded to that. He kept the velocity at his norm."

SOUND SMART
The Rockies weren't the only ones who erupted on offense on Wednesday -- the Indians beat the Reds, 19-4. It was the first day that multiple teams scored 19 or more runs since Sept. 30, 2000, when the A's beat the Rangers, 23-2, and the Mariners beat the Angels, 21-9, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

It was also the first day that two teams had 17 or more runs in the first four innings since June 18, 2000, when the Rockies scored 17 against the D-backs and the A's scored 17 against the Royals.

UP NEXT
Left-hander Kyle Freeland is 0-2 at Coors Field in his career against the D-backs, but he'll hope to change that Thursday afternoon against left-hander Robbie Ray (3-1, 5.23 ERA). Freeland has had more than a few good outings this year and stands at 8-6 with a 3.18 ERA. And he's fared even better at home: 5-2 with a 2.89 ERA. He's pitched deep into games recently and is the Rockies' most consistent starter this year, but he'll have to conquer the D-backs strong starting lineup. In his 1-2 career against the D-backs, Freeland has a 4.74 ERA over 19 innings.

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

Colorado Rockies, Ian Desmond