C.J. Cron’s second three-run home run of the game vaulted the Colorado Rockies to a 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks to claim the rubber match of the three-game series in Denver on Sunday.
Cron’s second blast came after the Diamondbacks’ regular set-up man, Ian Kennedy, left with an apparent right knee or leg issue after retiring the first batter of the eighth inning on a fly ball. Noe Ramirez (2-2) inherited a full count to the Rockies’ Yonathan Daza, who singled for his third hit of the day. Charlie Blackmon also singled, setting up Cron’s heroics.
The drama spilled over to the ninth. Rockies closer Daniel Bard surrendered a one-out double to Josh Rojas, struck out Alek Thomas and walked David Peralta intentionally. Christian Walker, who homered twice on Saturday, then worked a walk of his own to load the bases, before Daulton Varsho grounded out.
Rookie right-hander Jake Bird (1-0), Colorado’s fourth pitcher, earned the first win of his career, and Bard notched his 16th save in 18 opportunities.
The Rockies trailed right-hander Zac Gallen and the Diamondbacks 5-0 going to the sixth inning, mostly on the strength of a grand slam by Peralta in the fifth.
Gallen worked six innings, giving up three runs on the first of Cron’s homers along with four hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
Nursing a 1-0 lead since the second inning, the Diamondbacks appeared to break the game open in the fifth.
With one out, Jose Herrera and Rojas singled and Thomas walked. After a visit to the mound by Rockies pitching coach Darryl Scott, Chad Kuhl’s next pitch was an 88 mph slider that stayed right down the middle, and Peralta blasted it for his third career grand slam. It was also his second homer of the series.
In five innings, Kuhl gave up five runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts. The right-hander entered with a streak of 12 consecutive scoreless innings in Coors Field, including his three-hit shutout of the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 27, the first complete game of his career.
The Diamondbacks ended that streak in the second inning on Sunday when they scored on a fielder’s choice grounder.
Gallen, who blanked Colorado over seven innings in a win in May in Arizona, carried a one-hit shutout into the sixth on Sunday. Two of the first three batters reached on singles, but Gallen got a called third strike just off the outside corner against Blackmon for the second out. Cron then hit a low-and-in changeup for a three-run homer.
–Field Level Media