Photo by Associated Press.
Originally Published: July 3, 2017 6:04 a.m.
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks gathered before Sunday’s game to celebrate the players who made the NL All-Star team.
By the end of the day, they were mobbing Ketel Marte, reveling in the kind of win that helped them earn four All-Star nods.
Marte lined a run-scoring single in the ninth inning and the Diamondbacks overcame the first earned run allowed by Fernando Rodney in two months to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Sunday.
“It’s a good team win,” Colorado manager Torey Lovullo said. “Walk-off wins are always exciting, and it was a pleasing moment for me to see these guys out there celebrating.”
The Diamondbacks learned before the game that pitchers Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and third baseman Jake Lamb were named to the All-Star team.
Between then and the time the teams were officially announced, Arizona overcame some adversity to extend the best start in franchise history to 52-31.
Taijuan Walker struck out eight in seven effective innings and Chris Owings hit a two-run homer, helping the Diamondbacks take a 3-2 lead into the ninth.
Rodney (2-2) had not allowed a hit in 11 straight outings and no earned runs in 20 straight, but was not as overpowering against the Rockies, giving up three straight singles. Charlie Blackmon drove in the tying run on the third hit before Rodney got a pair of pop ups with two on to end the inning.
The Diamondbacks, as they have all season, bounced back quickly.
Brandon Drury hit a one-out single in the bottom half and Chris Iannetta followed with a double off Adam Ottavino (1-3). Marte fell into a 1-2 hole against Chris Rusin before lining a one-hopper off the wall, sending the Diamondbacks rushing out of the dugout to mob him.
“A big situation for him and he came through,” Walker said of Marte.
The Rockies opened this series in the desert with a 6-3 win to end an eight-game losing streak. They went back to their struggling ways in the final two games, unable to generate much offense while losing for the 10th time in 11 games.
“You are always concerned about your team in a lot of ways,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Right now the offense is not clicking.”
In his previous start against St. Louis, Walker became the first Diamondbacks pitcher to throw six-plus innings without a strikeout since 2009. He made up for that quickly on Sunday, striking out his first five batters, including one that had Trevor Story falling all over himself.
The Rockies took advantage of Drury’s fielding error at second to score a run in the fourth inning, and Nolan Arenado drove in another with a single in the fifth off Walker.
Walker allowed two runs — one earned — on six singles over seven innings.
“I felt like he had command of all pitches the entire outing,” Lovullo said.
German Marquez also had the strikeouts piling up early, ringing up four in the first two innings. Owings hit a two-run homer off the rookie right-hander in the fourth inning and Drury chased him with a run-scoring single in the sixth that put Arizona up 3-2.
Marquez allowed three runs and five hits and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings, giving the Rockies a chance. They weren’t able to take advantage, failing to get an extra-base hit or the extra hit they needed against Rodney to finish a difficult road trip.”
“It’s been a bad road trip, a bad stretch,” said Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who went 2 for 5 after missing three games with a groin strain. “I just think we are ready to get home, very ready to get home and finish the first half strong.”
The Rockies have struggled lately, but are still off to the best start in franchise history. That helped them earn four spots on the NL All-Star team: LeMahieu, right-hander Greg Holland, third baseman Arenado and outfielder Charlie Blackmon. First baseman Mark Reynolds is one of five candidates for the NL final fan vote.
“Well deserved for the other guys and it is a totally a reflection of the way we played so far,” LeMahieu said.
Rockies: LF Ian Desmond left in the fourth inning with right calf cramp after running in to grab a fly ball by Drury. ... OF Gerardo Parra (right quad) could play rehab games this week if his MRI is negative.
Rockies: RHP Jeff Hoffman will be facing the Cincinnati Reds for the first time in his career Monday at Coors Field.
Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his past four starts headed into Tuesday’s game at the Los Angeles Dodgers.