Originally Published: September 4, 2017 6:01 a.m.
DENVER — The numbers pretty much go hand in hand: 79 straight innings the Arizona Diamondbacks have either led or been tied. Ten straight wins.
“It’s an impressive run and it says a lot about what we’re doing day by day,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “You don’t just win 10 games by accident.”
Ketel Marte and Brandon Drury homered in a three-run sixth to bolster a strong outing by Zack Godley and the Diamondbacks swept the Colorado Rockies with a 5-1 victory on Sunday.
This is the Diamondbacks’ longest winning streak since they captured a franchise-best 12 straight in 2003.
Godley (7-7) allowed three hits, walked six and struck out seven over six innings to help the Diamondbacks increase their lead over Colorado for the top NL wild-card spot to 6 1/2 games.
“It’s not the time for us to take our foot off the gas pedal,” Lovullo said.
For the slumping Rockies, another frustrating loss as they saw their lead over Milwaukee for the second wild card trimmed to just a half-game.
“It’s tough, but this is a resilient group,” said Colorado manager Bud Black, whose team was 2 for 30 in the three-game series with runners in scoring position. “We’ll see how we bounce back. But I’ve got all the faith in the world in these guys.”
Tied at 1 in the sixth, Marte lined a slider from German Marquez (10-6) over the fence in left for his first homer since July 29. Drury later followed with a two-run shot off Marquez, who allowed four runs over six innings and struck out nine.
Both teams rolled out unconventional lineups.
The Rockies didn’t start third baseman Nolan Arenado, first baseman Mark Reynolds and outfielder Ian Desmond. They also switched around the batting order, with usual leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon dropping to the No. 3 spot. Blackmon had a tying single in the fifth.
Arizona gave NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt the day off, along with outfielders A.J. Pollock and J.D. Martinez.
The Rockies had something brewing in the eighth after back-to-back singles. But reliever Jimmie Sherfy struck out three straight to quell the threat. He picked up the save with two scoreless innings.
The Diamondbacks were held scoreless in the first inning. That’s significant because it snapped a streak of leading after 52 consecutive innings dating to the third inning on Aug. 27 against the Giants. It was the third longest-streak since 1920, according to information provided by Arizona from STATS. Baltimore has the record of 55 innings set in 1983.
However, this streak marches on: The team has either had the lead or been tied for 79 straight innings, which began on Aug. 25. They started this winning streak a day earlier.
“We’re going to enjoy this day. We’re going to enjoy what we did in Colorado, and then get on that airplane and get ready for a really, really rugged series down in LA,” Lovullo said. “We’re going to turn the page as quick as possible.”
ROUGH HOME STRETCH
Colorado fell to 1-5 on its nine-game homestand.
“Everyone is trying. Everyone is trying really hard,” DJ LeMahieu said. “Everyone is focused. But in baseball — it sounds weird — but the harder you try sometimes the harder it is. We have to get back to finding that happy medium, where we’ve been all year.”
GOOD AS GOLDY
No surprise, Goldschmidt isn’t a big fan of watching and typically tries to talk his way into the lineup.
“He doesn’t want to take days off because he feels like he can get in there and make an impact,” Lovullo said. “That’s what makes him Paul Goldschmidt.”
Goldschmidt is batting .314 with 33 homers and 109 RBIs this season. Those numbers at this point of the season are at or ahead of what he posted in ‘15 (.319, 27, 97), and ‘13 (.293, 31, 104) when he was the NL MVP runner-up.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (11-5, 2.97 ERA) starts Monday as the Diamondbacks open a three-game series in Los Angeles. Ray is 6-1 in 11 road starts this season.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (0-2, 4.88) takes the mound Monday to begin a three-game series against San Francisco. Bettis is looking for his first win since returning from testicular cancer.