The Arizona Diamondbacks preserved their bullpen. Their psyche might have taken a big hit, however.
Arizona’s Coors Field dominance ended in a blast of offense by the Colorado Rockies. Carlos Gonzalez hit two homers, starter German Marquez also went deep for one of Colorado’s five home runs as the Rockies routed Arizona 19-2 on Wednesday night.
Gonzalez drove in six runs to help the Rockies end a nine-game home losing streak against the Diamondbacks. They scored 12 runs in the first three innings and only a couple of Arizona position players taking the mound settled things down.
“We’ve had trouble against this team, we all know it, so today was good,” Nolan Arenado said.
Arizona starter Shelby Miller (0-4) allowed five runs before leaving after the first with right elbow tightness. Miller was making his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery and was headed back to Phoenix on Wednesday night to be evaluated, manager Torey Lovullo said.
“He definitely didn’t seem himself,” said Alex Avila, who started at catcher and finished the game on the mound. “He was kind of struggling to command really anything, noticing him grimacing on occasion when he’d throw a pitch. Obviously there was something wrong there.”
With the game out of hand, the Diamondbacks turned to second baseman Daniel Descalso and Avila to pitch. Descalso tossed 2 2/3 innings in his fifth relief appearance. Avila threw two scoreless innings in his first time pitching since college.
“It’s like riding bike,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to do anything special, just made sure I tired to throw strikes and that’s really it.”
Colorado scored seven runs off Jorge De La Rosa and four more off Yoshihisa Hirano to bring on Descalso in the fourth. He had retired the first nine batters he faced his career but Arenado greeted him with an RBI single and Gonzalez followed with a two-run homer. Descalso was the first position player in franchise history to pitch more than one inning. Avila became the second.
Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond also homered as Colorado ended a nine-game home losing streak to the Diamondbacks.
Marquez (8-8), who pitched six innings, hit his first career home run off Descalso that made it 19-1.
“I happened to make really good contact on that pitch and the ball left the yard,” Marquez said. “I’d be lying if I sometimes (don’t think) I’ve got to go yard at some point. I’m glad it happened tonight.”
The 19 runs were the most this season for Colorado and one short of the franchise best.
Diamondbacks: Reliever TJ McFarland left the game in the fourth inning with neck tightness. … Lovullo said OF Jarrod Dyson (right groin strain) is dealing with the break up of scar tissue related to his 2017 hernia surgery and said the team will keep him off his feet until after the break.
Rockies: RHP Bryan Shaw was activated from the 10-day DL and LHP Jerry Vasto optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. Shaw pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his first appearance since June 23rd.
TWO FOR THE BOOKS
The Diamondbacks made history by pitching Descalso and Avila tossing multiple innings. The last time it happened was when the Philadelphia Phillies did it against the Chicago Cubs on July 22, 1945, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
In addition, Descalso coming on in the fourth inning was the earliest a position player pitched in a game since Sal Bando did it for Milwaukee on Aug. 29, 1979, according to Elias.
Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray (3-1, 5.23 ERA) and Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland (8-6, 3.18 ERA) will start on Thursday.
AROUND THE MAJORS WEDNESDAY
–Greg Bird belted his first career grand slam and Sonny Gray put on a dominant pitching performance as the New York Yankees blasted the Baltimore Orioles 9-0 for a split of the four-game series. Bird launched a drive off the right-field foul pole in the third inning to put the Yankees up 5-0. Gray allowed three hits, walked one and struck out eight over six innings to improve to 6-7 after losing three straight starts.
__ Kenta Maeda registered 9 strikeouts and allowed a run and four hits over 5 /23 innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 4-2. Matt Kemp, Logan Forsythe and Chris Taylor each had an RBI single for the Dodgers.
__ Marco Gonzalez retired the first 10 batters he faced and gave up just two hits with four strikeouts over seven innings pitching the Seattle Mariners to a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. David Freitas hit his first major league home run for Seattle.
__ Chad Pinder ripped a three-run homer and Khris Davis drove in three runs leading the Oakland Athletics to an 8-3 romp over the Houston Astros. Davis extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games.
__ Jose Ramirez belted a pair of home runs and drove in five runs as the Cleveland Indians blasted the Cincinnati Reds 19-4. Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the first inning and added a three-run shot in Cleveland’s nine-run third._
–Ozzie Albies, who’s headed to his first All-Star game next week, launched two homers as the Atlanta Braves outscored the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 to move back into a first-place tie in the National League East. The Braves led 7-0 before Toronto scored five runs in the seventh on Justin Smoak’s leadoff homer and a grand slam from Devon Travis.
__ Chris Sale struck out 12 in seven innings in his final start before the All-Star game and major league batting leader Mookie Betts had two more hits leading the Boston Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. It was the ninth straight win for Boston.
__ Buster Posey delivered a single off the right-field wall in the 13th inning to drive in the winning run as the San Francisco Giants edged the Chicago Cubs 5-4. The winning rally was set up as Brandon Belt drew a two-out walk from James Norwood (0-1) and Andrew McCutchen singled to bring up Posey, who ended the 4-hour, 30-minute game.
__ Carlos Rodon pitched into the eighth inning allowing only three hits and no runs as the Chicago White Sox blanked the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0. Tim Anderson tripled and had two RBIs for the White Sox who ended a six-game losing streak.
__ Brandon Nimmo delivered a three-run pinch homer in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting the New York Mets to a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. All-Star Jacob deGrom was dominant for the Mets, scattering five hits over eight innings.
— Starling Marte hit a two-run home run and Trevor Williams combined with four relievers on a five-hitter as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Wednesday. Washington (46-46) lost for the 11th time in 16 games and fell back to .500. The Nationals entered the season as favorites to win a third consecutive NL East title.
— C.J. Cron’s three-run home run in the seventh inning carried the Tampa Bay Rays to their fifth straight win, a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Cron and Kiermaier each had three hits for the Rays, who have won 14 of 18.
— Brian Dozier went deep for the second straight game, hitting a two-run homer in the Minnesota Twins’ 8-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Dozier has 15 homers on the season.