Arenado hits league-leading 11th homer, Colorado sweeps D-backs
PHOENIX — Nolan Arenado has a power-hitting rookie for a teammate who has grabbed a lot of the headlines for the Colorado Rockies this season. Of course, Arenado's performance has been praise-worthy as well.
The 2015 All-Star had two hits, including his major league-leading 11th home run, and three RBIs in Sunday's 6-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is hitting .305 and is 10 for 26 with four homers in his last six games.
Young shortstop Trevor Story has been the big story for Colorado, but Arenado has been particularly consistent.
"To be able to have a quality at-bat there and drive two runs in, it does take the wind out of their sails," Arenado said after his two-run homer helped the Rockies finish a three-game sweep. "The most important thing is we won."
Colorado swept a series in Phoenix for the first time since 2004 and has taken five of six games from Arizona this season. The Rockies moved into a tie for first place in the NL West at 12-12. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are 13-13.
"We've had some tough losses here, so it's nice to get off well here. Hopefully exorcising one of our demons," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Gerardo Parra hit a solo homer for Colorado with two outs in the fifth. Arenado's two-run shot into the bullpen in left field came in the sixth inning off reliever Randall Delgado.
"He is an incredible player. Very good on defense, very good on offense," Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said of Arenado. "A very intense player. He is a good cornerstone for their organization."
Arenado also starred in the field, flagging down three scorching grounders to third base and turning them into outs.
"How big was Nolan all day?" Weiss said. "Hits the home run to give us some breathing room. Makes a few unbelievable plays. We just shake our heads now when he makes those plays. We've seen it so many times."
Chad Bettis (3-1) got the win after allowing three runs and nine hits in six innings. Five relievers held the Diamondbacks scoreless for three innings, with Jake McGee working the ninth for his sixth save.
"Taking out of what happened in the pregame bullpen, which was awful, this game was really good," Bettis said.
Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller (0-3) lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks. He was removed after walking Charlie Blackmon with the bases loaded to make the score 3-1.
"I feel like I'm a power pitcher and right now I feel that I'm not being the guy I can be," Miller said. "This is frustrating me because it's not even close to how good I can pitch."
Brandon Drury hit his fourth home run in five days and had three hits for Arizona.
Drury's first-inning homer landed in the front row of left-field seats and was reviewed for fan interference, but the call was upheld.
Yasmany Tomas and Chris Herrmann hit RBI singles in the sixth for the Diamondbacks.
Down 6-3, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one out in the seventh but didn't score.
EIGHT MEN IN
When Eddie Butler makes his scheduled start on Tuesday at San Diego, he'll be the eighth starting pitcher the Rockies have used this season. Butler has made one relief appearance.
"It's kind of what we do. Our starter depth always gets tested every year, so it's good to see Eddie throw the ball the way he did," Weiss said. "I know it was in a different role, but this will be his first start for us coming up, but yeah, I'm encouraged by what I've seen from him."
Rockies: RHP Miguel Castro (right shoulder inflammation) is starting to play catch, but it will be some time before he returns from the disabled list. ... LHP Jorge De La Rosa (strained left groin) is expected to come off the disabled list when his 15 days are up. He'll need at least one rehab start before he's ready to rejoin the rotation, Weiss said. ... INF Daniel Descalso took grounders before the game as he comes back from a broken left hand, and is close to getting some at-bats in minor league games.
Rockies: Jon Gray has had two no-decisions since being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on April 22. Gray has an 11.42 ERA, however. He faces the San Diego Padres on Monday.
Diamondbacks: Patrick Corbin (1-3) is scheduled to open the team's road trip Tuesday in Miami. Corbin is 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in two starts against the Marlins.