Arizona at Colorado

W: J. Cruz (1-0) L: L. Hawkins (0-1)
S: J. Valverde (1)
HR: ARI - None   COL - J. Baker (1)

Diamondbacks rally past Rockies to claim opening-day win

CBS wire reports

DENVER -- Eric Byrnes was astounded that LaTroy Hawkins didn't throw another one of those wicked sliders -- like the two he had just whizzed past him.

"He threw me two sliders that were unhittable. Babe Ruth couldn't have hit those pitches. I couldn't see them out of his hand," Byrnes said. "Then, for whatever reason he came back, with a fastball on 1-2 that caught the middle of the plate."

Byrnes lined the fortunate fastball over second baseman Kaz Matsui's head for a two-run single in the eighth inning that allowed Arizona to rally past Colorado 8-6 on Monday, snapping a four-game losing streak on opening day.

"He has a wicked slider," Byrnes maintained, shaking his head at his good fortune not to see another. "He had thrown two perfect pitches. The ball is coming out of his hand looking like a fastball on those first two pitches and they were breaking about 3 feet at the end."

This one didn't move one iota.

"It was just a fastball, outer half of the plate, we were trying to go a little farther out with it," Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta explained. "We had thrown him a few breaking balls. We were going to go fastball away, off the plate for a ball, set it up to come back with a slider."

Instead, Byrnes' based-loaded, one-out single erased the Rockies' 6-5 lead and Colorado lost for the first time in five season openers at Coors Field.

Byrnes' big hit made a winner of right-hander Juan Cruz (1-0), who struck out the only batter he faced, and a loser of Hawkins (0-1), the Rockies' new setup man who spent last season in Baltimore.

"I was thinking ahead," Hawkins explained. "I was going to throw him a fastball away because I hadn't thrown him a fastball, I was trying to get it away. Then come back and make another good pitch. It got too much of the plate."

Orlando Hudson followed with a sacrifice fly to center that made it 8-6 and sent Hawkins to the showers with a chorus of boos from the sellout crowd.

The Rockies put two runners on base against Brandon Lyon in the bottom of the eighth, but new leadoff hitter Willy Taveras failed twice to get the bunt down and then looked at strike three for his fourth whiff of the afternoon. Matsui grounded out to second and Garrett Atkins capped an 0-for-5 day by lining out to left.

Jose Valverde gave up a leadoff double to Todd Helton in the ninth, but struck out Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe and rookie Troy Tulowitzki for the save.

Rookie Jeff Baker had given the Rockies the lead when he broke a 5-5 tie with a pinch-hit homer off Brandon Medders leading off the bottom of the sixth. The ball barely cleared center fielder Chris Young's glove and Baker had to stop his home run trot near third base to make sure Young, sprawled out on the grass, didn't have the ball in his possession.

Both starting pitchers started out shaky and labored through tough outings.

Arizona right-hander Brandon Webb, the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, allowed five earned runs on eight hits in five innings, and Colorado right-hander Aaron Cook, who made his first opening day start nearly 2½ years after life-threatening blood clots were discovered in his lungs, surrendered five earned runs on nine hits in six innings.

"Neither one of us was on our 'A' game today," said Cook, who gave up three singles in his first six pitches.

Webb was one pitch away from escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first when Hawpe lined his 36th pitch into right field for the Rockies' first hit, a two-run single.

The Diamondbacks and Byrnes were actually lucky that he was still in the game for his eighth-inning hit. Manager Bob Melvin thought long and hard about yanking him in the fourth when he rolled an ankle chasing down a double by Tulowitzki.

"I thought I was going to have to take him out of there because he really rolled that ankle, but he was saying `There's no way I'm coming out of this game,"' Melvin recounted. "He's a tough guy and to see him hobbling around like that I was sure I'd have to take him out, but he stayed in the game and played a phenomenal game on top of that."


  • The Rockies signed GM Dan O'Dowd and manager Clint Hurdle to two-year extensions through 2009.
  • The D-Backs, beginning their 10th season, are 729-730 all-time.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
The Diamondbacks go ahead in the eighth inning on Eric Byrnes' two-run single.  (Getty Images)
The Diamondbacks go ahead in the eighth inning on Eric Byrnes' two-run single. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

B. Hawpe
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

O. Hudson
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

June 23, 2017
MLB Thursday winners and losers (0:57)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Stephen Drew, SS4210100 .250
Eric Byrnes, RF5132010 .600
Orlando Hudson, 2B4232000 .750
Chad Tracy, 3B4111103 .250
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Scott Hairston, LF4012112 .250
Conor Jackson, 1B4001111 .000
Chris Young, CF5110005 .200
Chris Snyder, C2010100 .500
   a- Alberto Callaspo, PH-3B11100001.000
Brandon Webb, P3000023 .000
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
   b- Tony Clark, PH1000001 .000
    Robby Hammock, C0000000 .000
a-singled for Snyder in the 8th
b-flied out for Cruz in the 8th
2B - Eric Byrnes (1, Cook), Orlando Hudson (1, Cook), Scott Hairston (1, Cook)
SF - Orlando Hudson (1)
RBI - Eric Byrnes 2 (2), Orlando Hudson 2 (2), Chad Tracy (1), Scott Hairston 2 (2), Conor Jackson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Hairston 2 (2)
PK - Chris Snyder (1, Cook)
Team LOB - 8
E - Stephen Drew (1, Misplayed grounder)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Brandon Webb 5855350 9.00
Brandon Medders 1111021 9.00
Doug Slaten 0.2100020 0.00
Juan Cruz (W,1-0) 0.1000010 0.00
Brandon Lyon (H,1) 1000110 0.00
Jose Valverde (S,1) 1100030 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Webb 96-62, Brandon Medders 15-11, Doug Slaten 11-10, Juan Cruz 7-4, Brandon Lyon 17-6, Jose Valverde 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Webb 7-3, Brandon Medders 1-0, Brandon Lyon 2-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Webb 26, Brandon Medders 4, Doug Slaten 3, Juan Cruz 1, Brandon Lyon 5, Jose Valverde 4
Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF4100143 .000
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .000
Kaz Matsui, 2B4121110 .500
Garrett Atkins, 3B5000016 .000
Todd Helton, 1B4020101 .500
Matt Holliday, LF5000036 .000
Brad Hawpe, RF5132022 .600
Troy Tulowitzki, SS5120024 .400
Chris Iannetta, C4112012 .250
Aaron Cook, P1000000 .000
   a- Jeff Baker, PH11110001.000
    Manuel Corpas, P0000000 .000
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
   b- Steve Finley, PH-CF0000100 .000
a-homered for Cook in the 6th
b-walked for Affeldt in the 8th
2B - Todd Helton (1, Valverde), Troy Tulowitzki (1, Webb)
HR - Jeff Baker (1, Medders)
SH - Aaron Cook (1)
RBI - Kaz Matsui (1), Brad Hawpe 2 (2), Chris Iannetta 2 (2), Jeff Baker (1)
2-OUT RBI - Kaz Matsui (1), Brad Hawpe 2 (2)
SB - Willy Taveras (1, 2nd base off Webb/Snyder)
Team LOB - 10
E - Garrett Atkins (1, Throwing), Matt Holliday (1, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
Aaron Cook 6955440 7.50
Manuel Corpas (H,1) 1000010 0.00
LaTroy Hawkins (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.2333100 40.50
Jeremy Affeldt 0.1000000 0.00
Ramon Ramirez 1000000 0.00
IBB - Tracy by Aaron Cook, Drew by LaTroy Hawkins
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 100-62, Manuel Corpas 12-7, LaTroy Hawkins 20-10, Jeremy Affeldt 8-5, Ramon Ramirez 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 6-7, Manuel Corpas 1-1, Ramon Ramirez 1-2
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 30, Manuel Corpas 3, LaTroy Hawkins 6, Jeremy Affeldt 1, Ramon Ramirez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 48169
Game Time - 3:18
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Rob Drake