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Arizona at Colorado

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Arizona (57-85)000010000180
Colorado (78-64) «00000020x280

Rockies rally past Diamondbacks for ninth straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- For the first time in weeks, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki didn't do the heavy lifting for the Colorado Rockies.

Didn't matter.

The Rockies won their ninth straight game and stayed within striking distance of the NL West lead Saturday night thanks to a long list of unusual suspects and a couple of fortuitous moments.

Postseason Chase

Pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera's sacrifice fly off Mike Hampton after a miscommunication on a squeeze play broke a seventh-inning tie and rookie Matt Reynolds (1-0) picked up his first major league win by working one scoreless inning in Colorado's 2-1 nail-biter over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Rockies stayed 2½ games behind San Diego in the NL West race. The Padres beat San Francisco 1-0.

"When you're on a really good roll, you'd like them all to be easy, but unfortunately, it's not going to be that way," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "And tonight we had to do it the hard way."

Diamondbacks right-hander Rodrigo Lopez cruised along until the seventh, when he gave up three straight hits, including Miguel Olivo's RBI single that tied it at 1 and took Ubaldo Jimenez off the hook for a hard-luck loss.

Jimenez had allowed just one run over six stellar innings and stranded runners at third in three straight innings.

With switch-hitter Herrera coming up to pinch hit, Lopez (5-14), who was aiming for his first victory since Aug 7, was replaced by lefty Mike Hampton, the 37-year-old lefty whose two years in Denver were marked by a big contract and lots of losses.

Herrera fouled off a pitch with Ryan Spilborghs bearing down on him at fullspeed on a squeeze play mix-up. Then, with that sign wiped off, Herrera lofted a fly that center fielder Chris Young had to back up on, allowing Spilborghs to score.

"You do make your own breaks," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "They botched a sign there and the squeeze was on and Herrera had to hit ... and they got away with it."

Todd Helton also was out of the starting lineup, but Gibson took umbrage at the notion that the Rockies were any easier to face on this night.

"They also had Jimenez throwing," Gibson said. "I don't care who's in the lineup. You've got to play a baseball game."

And Herrera's a pretty good bat-handler, whether he's squaring around or squaring it up.

"We play like a team," Herrera said. "Everybody is part of it, not just the nine guys in the lineup. We have a lot of guys on the bench, too, and we're looking for anything to help the team win."

Lopez had been awful since Aug. 1, losing all four of his decisions. Against Colorado, he allowed just two runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

"Rodrigo threw a great game for us," Gibson said. "We got out-executed in the finer points of the game and they came away with a win."

Rafael Betancourt held the lead with a 1-2-3 eighth and Huston Street picked his 18th save in 22 chances. With one out and the tying run at second, Street struck out Gerardo Parra on high heat, then got pinch-hitter Ryan Church looking at strike three with the sellout crowd of 48,000-plus standing.

The Rockies didn't have their usually potent lineup.

Gonzalez's 0-for-8 hiccup over the previous two games prompted his manager to give him a breather. Gonzalez had started to show signs of fatigue after a career-best 16-game hitting streak that put him in contention for the Triple Crown and the Rockies in the thick of the playoff race.

With CarGo getting a night off -- until he played left field in the ninth -- Troy Tulowitzki, who's been on a power surge himself over the last week and a-half, moved up from the cleanup spot to the third spot in the order.

Tulowitzki went 0-for-4 from there after having hit .444 (16-for-36) over his previous nine games while collecting eight homers, 17 RBI, 15 runs, five walks and a dozen extra-base hits.

Gonzalez's replacement in left field, Spilborghs, misplayed Tony Abreu's fourth-inning drive into a double and he couldn't catch up to Stephen Drew's RBI double an inning later that scored Brandon Allen.

Lopez, who had singled, had to stop at third on the hit.

"Fortunately for us the pitcher was running or they would have had two runs," Tracy said.

Notes

  • The Rockies are 18-4 at Coors Field since July 29.
  • Street has saved nine straight games since Aug. 22.
  • The sellout crowd of 48,023 included a September record walk-up of 7,673 Saturday.
 
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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Jonathan Herrera's sacrifice fly as a pinch hitter in the seventh is the difference maker for Colorado in this game. (AP)
Jonathan Herrera's sacrifice fly as a pinch hitter in the seventh is the difference maker for Colorado in this game. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

U. Jimenez
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 8
Arizona

R. Lopez
IP 6.1
H 7
ER 2
BB 1
K 4
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Stephen Drew, SS4011022 .270
Tony Abreu, 3B4010022 .245
Kelly Johnson, 2B3010010 .275
Chris Young, CF4000021 .264
Adam LaRoche, 1B4010021 .266
Miguel Montero, C4010011 .277
    Justin Upton, PR0000000 .275
Brandon Allen, LF1110100 .313
   a- Ryan Roberts, PH-LF1010000 .195
   b- Mark Reynolds, PH0000100 .208
Gerardo Parra, RF4000025 .252
Rodrigo Lopez, P2010001 .085
    Mike Hampton, P0000000 .000
    Esmerling Vasquez, P0000000 .000
   c- Ryan Church, PH1000012 .194
Totals32181213  
a-singled for Allen in the 7th
b-walked for Roberts in the 9th
c-struck out for Vasquez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Stephen Drew (30, Jimenez), Tony Abreu (9, Jimenez)
SH - Kelly Johnson (3), Rodrigo Lopez (3)
RBI - Stephen Drew (52)
2-OUT RBI - Stephen Drew (20)
SB - Justin Upton (16, 2nd base off Street/Olivo)
CS - Kelly Johnson (7, 2nd base by Jimenez/Olivo)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Drew-Johnson-LaRoche, Drew-Johnson-LaRoche
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Rodrigo Lopez (L,5-14) 6.1722140 5.13
Mike Hampton 0.2000000 0.00
Esmerling Vasquez 1100210 4.21
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 80-55, Mike Hampton 7-4, Esmerling Vasquez 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 7-7, Esmerling Vasquez 1-0
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 26, Mike Hampton 2, Esmerling Vasquez 5
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Eric Young Jr., 2B3020101 .276
    Clint Barmes, 2B0000000 .234
Dexter Fowler, CF3010002 .252
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000012 .324
Jason Giambi, 1B3000011 .255
    Todd Helton, 1B0000100 .250
Seth Smith, RF3010100 .258
    Carlos Gonzalez, LF0000000 .335
Melvin Mora, 3B4120013 .279
Ryan Spilborghs, LF-RF3110002 .280
Miguel Olivo, C3011011 .280
Ubaldo Jimenez, P2000011 .116
    Matt Reynolds, P0000000 .000
   a- Jonathan Herrera, PH0001000 .282
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Totals2828235  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for M. Reynolds in the 7th
Batting
2B - Seth Smith (18, Lopez), Ryan Spilborghs (19, Lopez)
SF - Jonathan Herrera (3)
SH - Dexter Fowler (7)
RBI - Miguel Olivo (56), Jonathan Herrera (20)
Team LOB - 7
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez 6611180 2.75
Matt Reynolds (W,1-0) 1100010 2.53
Rafael Betancourt (H,20) 1000020 3.91
Huston Street (S,18) 1100120 3.66
WP - Ubaldo Jimenez (14)
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 113-71, Matt Reynolds 14-9, Rafael Betancourt 14-11, Huston Street 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 4-5, Matt Reynolds 1-1
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 24, Matt Reynolds 4, Rafael Betancourt 3, Huston Street 5
Game Information
Attendance - 48023
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Greg Gibson