Friday, June 24, 2016

Ahmed delivers in nick of time for D-backs

Nick Ahmed hit a go-ahead single in the ninth and the D-backs held off the Rockies, 7-6, at Coors Field on Thursday for their sixth win in seven games.
Arizona mounted a two-out rally in the ninth against Rockies closer Carlos Estevez, who was saddled with his fourth loss of the season. Jake Lamb singled to right field and Chris Herrmann singled on a ball that deflected off Estevez's glove before Ahmed got his first hit in his last 15 plate appearances.
"I don't get to hit right there if the other two guys don't get on base," Ahmed said. "I was just looking to get a good pitch to hit, and he threw me a fastball right there, and I hit it back up the middle. The guy throws really hard, and you can't exactly look [for an offspeed pitch] on a guy who throws upper 90s, touches 100. I was just looking for a fastball."
This was the first time Estevez has faltered since he took over as the team's closer followingJake McGee's knee injury. He had made five straight scoreless appearances, only allowing two hits over that stretch.
"I like our chances in that situation," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Carlos is throwing the heck out of the ball, and they got the barrel to a couple really good fastballs. They did a good job right there."
The Rockies tied the score in the eighth inning after five scoreless innings. Ryan Raburnand Mark Reynolds led off the inning with singles, Nick Hundley drove in a run on a groundout to second, and Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu each hit RBI singles. But D-backs closer Brad Ziegler, who earned the win, got out of the jam after blowing his first save of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Good effort for Greinke: This season, at the Majors' most hitter-friendly park, Zack Greinkehas allowed five earned runs in 12 2/3 innings. That's a good deal better than the seven runs on nine hits he allowed in four innings against the Rockies on Opening Day at Chase Field. He also did some damage with his bat and legs, collecting a single, drawing a walk, scoring two runs and stealing a base.
"They are all big-time big league hitters, and they all have big numbers in this ballpark," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of the Rockies' lineup. "He battled and gave us a chance to win. Shoot, I think even his at-bats were huge for us." More >
Late rally cut short: Colorado tied the score in eighth inning on a one-out safety squeeze by LeMahieu, but they couldn't manage anything afterward against Ziegler with the heart of the order up. Nolan Arenado walked to load the bases, but Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Storystruck out.
"Those guys have been driving in runs for years, and they're good at it," Weiss said. "Once in a while, a pitch will get you."
Streak over: Ziegler saw his club-record streak of 43 saves come to an end. The streak, which started on May 29, 2015, was the longest active streak in the Majors and the seventh longest in Major League history. Former Dodger Eric Gagne holds the all-time record of 84, which he set from 2002-04.
"I am pretty impressed with how long that streak was,' Greinke said. "No matter who you are, that's pretty amazing. Today was a borderline impossible one to do. He's done a great job."
CarGo leaves with injury: Gonzalez's bases-loaded strikeout in the eighth stung even more when he dropped his bat after the swing, sustaining a sprain in his right wrist. He was replaced by Brandon Barnes in the field and Estevez in the batting order, although that spot would not come up again. He is considered day to day.
"He just tweaked his wrist a little bit," Weiss said. "We'll check him out tomorrow." More >
Butler saves the bench: Butler looked like he wouldn't last long after allowing six runs between the third and fourth innings, but his effort through the fifth saved the Rockies' bench. With Butler able to hit in the bottom of the fourth -- he sacrificed two runners over -- he saved the Rockies from having to burn a pinch-hitter along with saving the bullpen from eating up another inning.
"[Pitching coach Steve Foster] comes up to me and is like, 'Hey, can you get us one more? Your spot is coming up. You have to handle the bat and get us through one more.'" Butler said. "I said, 'I got this,' I got the job done, and I gave the team a chance to play ball, and they did a great job fighting back the rest of the game." More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Rockies challenged a call in the seventh that had Phil Gosselin safe at second base after dropping a hit into center field. The umpires overturned the call, ruling that Gosselin failed to maintain contact with the bag as Story tagged him.
WHAT'S NEXT
D-backs: Archie Bradley will get the start on Friday against the Rockies in a 5:40 p.m. MST start at Coors Field. Bradley made a spot start earlier this season at Coors and allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings.
Rockies: Tyler Anderson will make his third career start on Friday at 6:40 p.m. MT against the D-backs. He has not allowed more than two runs or six baserunners in either of his two career starts, although he is still looking for his first career win.

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