After rebounding for what manager Torey Lovullo called a “statement” win on Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks will try to earn a split of their four-game series with the Colorado Rockies on Sunday in Phoenix.
Arizona suffered a pair of one-run losses in the first two games of the series, including an emotional 6-5 decision on Friday that saw Colorado starter Chad Kuhl throw a pitch behind Daulton Varsho in the bottom of the fifth. That came after Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron had to leave the game after getting hit on the left wrist by a Zac Gallen pitch in the top half of the inning.
Gallen had walked three other batters in the inning before hitting Cron with a 94 mph fastball with the bases loaded to force in the tying run, 4-4. X-rays were negative on Cron’s wrist, but he sat out Saturday’s contest.
Lovullo, who told reporters several times that he was upset after the game, argued that Kuhl should have been ejected for throwing at Varsho.
However, Kuhl was allowed to remain in the game after umpires issued warnings to both teams.
Arizona bounced back to defeat Colorado 9-2 Saturday behind strong pitching from Madison Bumgarner, pounding out 12 hits. The win moved the Diamondbacks one game ahead of Colorado into fourth place in the National League West.
“I think this team was a little frustrated walking through the clubhouse doors today, and they went out and executed a really good game plan and made some statements all game long,” Lovullo said. “It came at the perfect time. I know you guys know there was some emotion in here in this ballpark yesterday. I’m sure you felt it from me postgame. These guys did what they had to do to make a statement.”
Arizona’s Jordan Luplow led the way offensively with a homer and two RBIs. Josh Rojas added three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.
“It’s always good to bounce back after a couple losses,” Luplow said. “The boys came out swinging tonight, and MadBum (Bumgarner) did his thing.”
Bumgarner allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings and struck out five, including the side in his final inning.
“His last three innings were his best innings that I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Lovullo said.
One bright spot for Colorado was the continued hot hitting of Kris Bryant, who smacked his fourth homer of the season and third over the span of six plate appearances in the first inning to give the Rockies a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Bryant hit .270 with no homers and four RBIs in his first 17 games of the season before going on the injured list with a lower back strain. In 11 games since returning from the IL on June 27, he’s batting .341 with four homers and six RBIs and seven extra-base hits.
“That’s a good sign, another home run,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “I thought his at-bats overall were good again. We’ll see where he goes, but he’s in a good spot.”
Right-hander German Marquez (4-7, 5.90 ERA) will start the series finale for Colorado and will be opposed by left-hander Tyler Gilbert (0-3, 6.86).
Marquez has faced the Diamondbacks 20 times in his career, including 19 starts, and has a 5-6 record and 4.01 ERA. He is 2-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 11 appearances and 10 starts at Chase Field.
Gilbert will make his fifth start of the season filling in for the injured Zach Davies. Gilbert is 0-0 with a 7.20 ERÅ in one career start against the Rockies.
–Field Level Media