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(Thursday, May 17th)
Final Score: Arizona 9, Colorado 7
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Justin Upton's two-run homer in the ninth inning lifted the Diamondbacks over the Rockies, 9-7, in the final game of a brief two-game series at Coors Field.
Upton, who was a career 0-for-6 with five strikeouts against Rafael Betancourt prior to his home run, fell behind 1-2 with two outs. But Betancourt's cutter caught just enough of the plate and Upton drove the ball deep into the seats in right-center.
"I knew it was at least off the wall," Upton said of his home run. "I was yelling for it to get out. It carried, it carried for me, which was nice."
Gerrardo Parra reached two hitters earlier with a double.
J.J. Putz loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but was able to strike out Alex White before getting Ramon Hernandez to ground into a game-ending double play.
Brad Ziegler (2-1) earned the win after recording the final out of the eighth.
Arizona used a four-run eighth to take a 7-4 lead. Parra walked, moved to second on a wild pitch then scored when Willie Bloomquist singled to right. Bloomquist then stole second before scoring when Jason Kubel also singled to right to put Arizona up 5-4.
"You can't pitch any worse than that," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. "It is just that simple. There is really not a whole lot to say, we did not pitch well from the first inning on."
Esmil Rodgers entered the game in relief for Colorado and immediately gave up a pair RBI singles to Paul Goldschmidt and Ryan Roberts.
But the Rockies answered with three runs in the eighth to tie the game. David Hernandez, who entered in relief, loaded the bases with two outs. Hernandez then walked in a run before pinch-hitter Michael Cuddyer reached on an error, roping a grounder that hopped off Roberts' glove and over his shoulder, allowing another run to score.
Hernandez walked Marco Scutaro to plate the Rockies' third run of the inning before Ziegler was brought in and recorded the final out courtesy of Upton's sliding catch in right.
The Rockies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Troy Tulowitzki hit his fourth home run on the season. Scutaro drew a leadoff walk before Tulowitzki crushed an 0-1 fastball into the left field stands.
Colorado came back with another run in the second to go ahead 3-0. Tyler Colvin led off with a single to right, moved to second when Hernandez grounded into a fielder's choice and scored when Dexter Fowler tripled down the first base line.
Arizona finally scored in the fifth to make it a 3-1 game. Aaron Hill reached on a leadoff walk, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch allowed Hill to move to third. Hill then scored on a Bloomquist infield single after Tulowitzki and Scutaro collided behind second base attempting to field the ball.
The Rockies answered right back with another run in the home half to go up 4-1 when Jordan Pacheco crushed a 1-0 sinker to left.
But Arizona wouldn't go away, adding another run in both the sixth and seventh to make it a 4-3 game. In the sixth Goldschmidt walked then moved to third on a Hill single. Goldschmidt scored when Lyle Overbay beat out an infield single deep in the hole at short.
"We all expect our pitchers to get the job done and to keep the lead. It's just been frustrating since day one, but I'm not going to say there is nothing we can do about it," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "We just need to concentrate on our jobs, score runs and play good defense for them."
In the seventh Kubel singled, moved to second when Goldschmidt singled, then scored two batters later when Roberts laced a single of his own to left.
"We kept fighting all game. That is going to be the goal all year," Roberts said. "That's what we've talked about, play all nine innings hard no matter what. I'm just proud of everyone, that everyone stayed through that and we got away with a victory."
A swarm of bees in foul territory delayed the game in the fourth...It's not the first time these two teams saw a delay due to bees. In 2005 both teams had to clear the field during a spring training game when a swarm of bees took the field...Juan Nicasio started for Colorado, tossing 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball...Tulowitzki finished the game 2-for-4...Trevor Cahill started for Arizona, giving up four runs on five hits over five innings.
05/17 22:12:59 ET
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