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Arizona at Colorado

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Arizona (2-2) «3000111118131
Colorado (1-3)000000100122

D-Backs drub Rockies, spoil celebration for NL champions

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies looked great in their home opener -- but only on the giant video screen.

The Rockies celebrated their NL championship Friday with a pregame jubilee of fireworks, fly-bys and flashbacks, then played nothing like the charmed team that won its first pennant six months ago.

Arizona right-hander Micah Owings (1-0) struck out a career-best nine batters and allowed just one run and two hits over 6 2/3 splendid innings in the Diamondbacks' 8-1 win over struggling Colorado.

Matt Holliday went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, tying a career high. After winning the NL batting title last year, Holliday is mired in a 1-for-14 slump in 2008. Troy Tulowitzki, who led major league shortstops in fielding percentage, bobbled two groundballs, one of which resulted in an error, his second of the season, the other nearly costing Colorado a run.

"I just didn't get some good hops on some balls, misread them, misplayed them, and my throws were bad," said Tulowitzki, who was saved from further embarrassment when Todd Helton scooped several of his throws out of the dirt. "It was a bad performance all the way around, defensively, offensively. We didn't play very good at all."

Tulowitzki was one of several Rockies who took out their frustrations in the batting cages after the game.

Chad Qualls and Juan Cruz completed the two-hitter, and Mark Reynolds homered, doubled and drove in three runs for the Diamondbacks, who watched the Rockies celebrate a sweep of the NL championship series the last time they were in town.

"We respect what they did last year," Reynolds said. "At the same time it's over with and we forgot about it that night. It's a new season."

And gone on this day were the clutch hits, the great glove work, the sweet sounds of the barrel meeting the ball for the Rockies at sold-out but oh-so-quiet Coors Field, where a record regular season paid crowd of 49,233 watched the D-Backs' domination.

"We didn't give the fans too much to cheer about," Helton said with a shrug.

After Willy Taveras doubled leading off the first, Owings retired 17 straight batters before walking Taveras with two outs in the sixth.

Unlike their remarkable run to the World Series, when Colorado seemingly could do no wrong, very little has gone right in 2008 for the Rockies, who have lost three of their first four games while scoring a total of just six runs and going 3-for-27 with runners in scoring position.

Left-hander Mark Redman (0-1), who had so many clutch performances for Colorado in September -- the Rockies went 5-0 with him on the mound - allowed five runs, four of them earned, and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Redman labored through a 35-pitch first inning in which he walked the leadoff hitter and surrendered an RBI single to Chris Snyder and a two-run double to Reynolds.

That's all Owings needed.

"I felt good today about my command and felt good all around," said Owings, who had scuffled throughout spring training. "I felt good about my guys behind me and the offense put up that 3-spot behind me and that helped a lot."

In the second, Taveras saved Redman from another bad inning by making a Willie Mays-type catch of Orlando Hudson's drive over his head in center field with runners at first and second.

Hudson, however, would later drive in two runs with a single in the sixth and a double in the eighth as the D-Backs scored single runs in each of the last five innings, battering what was baseball's best bullpen a yaer ago.

Justin Upton, who had Arizona's only hit Thursday, homered in the seventh. Helton led off the bottom half with a home run for Colorado's second hit off Owings, who was replaced by Qualls after issuing his second walk two outs later. Cruz pitched the ninth.

"It's a lot easier to face someone when the person in front of you got a hit. You're thinking you can get one yourself," Tulowitzki said. "When guys are coming back to the dugout striking out, it wears on the other guys, too."

Pregame ceremonies included video clips of the Rockies' remarkable 21-1 to the World Series last year, including their sweep of the Diamondbacks in the NLCS, capped when Helton scooped the final out and thrust his arms to the heavens in triumph.

On this day, they were throwing their helmets, bats and gloves in frustration.

"Obviously, it's not the start we'd like to have," Tulowitzki said. "But last year we started slow and nobody thought we could do the things we did."

Notes

  • It was the second straight day an opposing pitcher set a new career high for strikeouts. On Thursday, Brad Thompson of the Cardinals struck out six Rockies.
  • Colorado RHP Jason Hirsh (strained rotator cuff) began a strengthening program in which he throws a heavy green baseball off a trampoline.
 
Copyright 2014 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.
 
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Micah Owings K's a career-high nine and allows one run and two hits over 6 2/3 innings.  (Getty Images)
Micah Owings K's a career-high nine and allows one run and two hits over 6 2/3 innings. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Colorado

T. Helton
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Arizona

M. Owings
IP 6.2
H 2
ER 1
BB 2
K 9
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF4210212 .214
Chris Burke, 1B4210102 .100
Orlando Hudson, 2B5022002 .250
Eric Byrnes, LF4110103 .125
Chris Snyder, C5011013 .167
Mark Reynolds, 3B4223100 .214
Justin Upton, RF5131012 .333
Stephen Drew, SS5000025 .125
Micah Owings, P4010020 .250
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   a- Augie Ojeda, PH10110001.000
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
Totals41813857  
a-singled for Qualls in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chris Young (2, Redman), Orlando Hudson (1, Buchholz), Eric Byrnes (1, Redman), Mark Reynolds (1, Redman)
HR - Mark Reynolds (1, Redman), Justin Upton (2, Herges)
RBI - Orlando Hudson 2 (2), Chris Snyder (1), Mark Reynolds 3 (3), Justin Upton (2), Augie Ojeda (1)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Hudson (1), Mark Reynolds (1), Augie Ojeda (1)
SB - Chris Young (2, 2nd base off Redman/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Burke
E - Mark Reynolds (1, Throwing)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Micah Owings (W,1-0) 6.2211291 1.35
Chad Qualls 1.1000110 0.00
Juan Cruz 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Micah Owings 97-65, Chad Qualls 22-10, Juan Cruz 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Micah Owings 2-9, Chad Qualls 3-0, Juan Cruz 1-1
Batters Faced - Micah Owings 24, Chad Qualls 5, Juan Cruz 3
Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF2010210 .167
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000023 .188
Todd Helton, 1B4111001 .313
Matt Holliday, LF4000041 .071
Garrett Atkins, 3B4000010 .267
Brad Hawpe, RF2000110 .154
Yorvit Torrealba, C3000011 .182
Jayson Nix, 2B3000000 .111
Mark Redman, P1000000 .000
    Matt Herges, P1000010 .000
    Taylor Buchholz, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1000001 .167
    Manny Corpas, P0000000 .000
Totals29121311  
a-grounded into a double play for Buchholz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Willy Taveras (1, Owings)
HR - Todd Helton (1, Owings)
RBI - Todd Helton (1)
SB - Willy Taveras (1, 2nd base off Qualls/Snyder)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Tulowitzki-Nix-Helton
E - Yorvit Torrealba (1, Throwing), Troy Tulowitzki (2, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Mark Redman (L,0-1) 5.2954341 6.35
Matt Herges 1.1111021 3.00
Taylor Buchholz 1111110 3.38
Manny Corpas 1211100 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Redman 101-62, Matt Herges 17-13, Taylor Buchholz 19-12, Manny Corpas 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Redman 6-9, Matt Herges 2-0, Taylor Buchholz 2-0, Manny Corpas 1-1
Batters Faced - Mark Redman 31, Matt Herges 5, Taylor Buchholz 5, Manny Corpas 5
Game Information
Attendance - 49233
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Paul Schrieber