Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Story's historic HR powers Rox past D-backs

Rockies rookie Trevor Story once again homered his way into history, but his teammates are busting fences right behind him.
Story became the first player in the modern era (since 1900) to homer in his first three games, a total of four times, and teammates DJ LeMahieu and Ryan Raburn went deep in a 4-3 victory over the D-backs Wednesday at Chase Field to take the decider in a three-game, season-opening series.
"It's just kind of surreal right now; it's hard to explain, I can't rally put words to it," Story said. "I'm certainly happy that we won the series. That's what I'm most pumped about."
Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose team hit 10 homers in the three games, had fun with the words he used: "It's quite a Story -- pun intended."
Also, Rockies righty starter Tyler Chatwood -- in his first start since April 29, 2014, before Tommy John surgery -- held the D-backs to two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings. In the third, the D-backs had one hit and benefited from Chatwood's throwing error, which negated a possible double play, to score twice. But Chatwood forced ground balls from David Peraltaand Jake Lamb to prevent a big inning.
"The last couple days all I did was think about that, but today was awesome to get back on the mound and be able to pitch again," Chatwood said.
Story's first-pitch homer off D-backs lefty Patrick Corbin in the first inning gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead, and LeMahieu homered in the third and Raburn in the seventh. The homers spoiled an otherwise solid seven innings for Corbin, who gave up four runs on eight hits and struck out six against no walks.
Nick Ahmed hit a homer in the ninth before Jake McGee retired the final two batters for his first save with the Rockies.
Don't you forget about me: LeMahieu is off to a sizzling start that would stand out, if not for Story. LeMahieu's first-inning leadoff single came before Story's homer, then in the third he gave the Rockies a 3-0 lead with his second homer in as many games.
Missed opportunity: Chatwood committed a throwing error and hit a batter in a two-run bottom of the third, but it could have been worse. With the bases loaded, he induced two ground-ball outs from Peralta and Lamb.
"It seemed like we were one hit away all day,'' D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidtsaid. More >
Back-to-back defensive gems: The left side of the Rockies' infield took away two potential hits in the bottom of the sixth to help out Chatwood. Story, playing behind second base on a shift, ranged to his right and threw out Peralta. Then, Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado, the only man on the left side of the infield on another shift, ranged up the middle to retire Lamb.
Hanging on: Chatwood left with two on and one out in the seventh, and was saved by strong relief work from righty Miguel Castro and lefty Boone Logan. Castro fanned Chris Owingsand avoided Goldschmidt for a walk to fill the bases. Logan worked Peralta into a weak grounder to end the threat.
"We just didn't put the ball in play a couple of times, and left some guys on base,'' D-backs manager Chip Hale said.
When Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch in the third inning, it marked the 38th consecutive game in which he has reached base against the Rockies, dating back to July 5, 2013. That ties Luis Gonzalez for the club record for consecutive games reached against any team. Gonzalez's streak also came against the Rockies, from June 25, 2000, to Sept. 21, 2002.
The Rockies hit 10 home runs in the three-game series against Arizona, tied for the most in club history in a three-game set on the road. They also hit 10 homers at Montreal April 4-6, 1997.
"This place was tough on us last year. We had a tough time winning games. To confront that demon right out of the gate and win a series here, that's going to be big for us." -- Weiss on starting with a series win at Chase Field, where his team went 2-8 last season.
"It just seemed like every [pitching] mistake we made in this series [turned into] a home run. Not a hit, but a home run. Unfortunately, the mistakes he [Corbin] did make went out of the ballpark." -- Hale on the D-backs allowing 10 home runs in the series against Colorado.
The emphasis on the bullpen paid off. Castro, Logan, Chad Qualls and McGee held the D-backs to one hit -- Ahmed's homer off McGee in the ninth to make it a one-run game -- and one walk in 2 2/3 innings. The bullpen struggled Tuesday, but it pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in Monday night's 10-5 victory in the season opener.
Rockies: Right-hander Jordan Lyles, who was limited to 10 starts last season because of surgery to repair a ligament in his right big toe, will start the home opener against the Padres on Friday at 2:10 p.m. MT.
D-backs: RIght-hander Rubby De La Rosa will make his first start of the season in the 6:40 p.m. MT Thursday opener of a four-game home series against the Chicago Cubs. De La Rosa starts the season in the No. 4 spot in the rotation after leading the team with 32 starts in 2015.

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