Díaz, Rockies rally off Graveman in 9th, stun White Sox 6-5
DENVER (AP) — Elias Díaz hit a two-run single off Kendall Graveman in the ninth inning, and the Colorado Rockies overcame the loss of starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela to beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Wednesday.
Senzatela, making his second start since returning from a shoulder injury, led 3-2 with two outs in the seventh when Leury García hit a comebacker off the pitcher’s left shin that rolled away for a single. The 27-year-old right-hander threw some warmup pitches before walking off the mound.
Senzatela later pointed out the stitches still imprinted on his swollen shin.
“It hurts. It’s really sore right now,” said Senzatela, who was hopeful he’ll be able to make his next start. “It didn’t feel right when I landed, so I didn’t want to hang a pitch.”
After Senzatela left, Lucas Gilbreath allowed three straight runners, including Tim Anderson’s RBI single. Carlos Estevez replaced him and A.J. Pollock hit his first pitch for a two-run single as the White Sox went ahead 5-3.
José Iglesias, who drove in a pair of runs, had an RBI single in the bottom half off José Ruiz.
With closer Liam Hendricks unavailable after throwing 27 pitches Tuesday, Graveman (3-2) blew a save for the fifth time in 10 chances.
He walked Brendan Rodgers, Iglesias and Ryan McMahon on 16 pitches, then gave up Díaz’s hit on a first-pitch sinker. Iglesias slid home as right fielder Andrew Vaughn’s throw skipped to the backstop to give Colorado only its second walkoff win this season.
“He was all around the strike zone. He just wasn’t throwing strikes,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “It wasn’t like he was wild.”
Díaz wasn’t thinking about taking a strike with Graveman struggling with his control.
“I went to the plate and said, ‘If they throw something up in the zone, I’m going to swing,’” Diaz said.
Robert Stephenson (2-1) pitched a perfect ninth as Colorado won for the second time in seven games.
Chicago (49-49) had been trying to move two games over .500 for the first time since April, when the White Sox opened 6-2 and then lost eight in a row. White Sox pitchers walked nine in Chicago’s 16th loss this season after leading.
Charlie Blackmon hit his 39th leadoff homer, his third this season, and C.J. Cron drove in his 71st run for the Rockies, who built a 3-0 first-inning lead.
Yasmani Grandal had a two-run single in the fourth for the White Sox, who played their second of 19 straight games against teams with losing records.
Lucas Giolito allowed three runs, six hits and four walks, needing 104 pitches to get through five innings.
White Sox: RHP Joe Kelly left with two outs in the eighth and said he experienced the same nerve discomfort in his arm that delayed his start to the season. “I’ve got my feeling back now,” Kelly said. ... La Russa said RHP Reynaldo López, who hasn’t pitched since Saturday, has a sore lower back. ... INF Jake Burger (right hand) started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.
Rockies: OF Kris Bryant doubled while being the DH for the second straight day as he deals with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. “It’s a bear, but it affects everybody differently with how you handle the soreness,” manager Bud Black said. ... OF Connor Joe (general soreness) was out but could return Thursday, Black said.
Yoán Moncada walked with two outs in the fifth, loading the bases for Pollock in the fifth. But before Moncada could get to first, García was picked off third base by Díaz, the catcher.
Díaz said he saw McMahon, the third baseman, sneak up behind Garcia and give him a signal.
“I threw it right away,” Díaz said.
The Rockies have signed all 22 amateur draft picks, and many toured Coors Field before the game and met with Black. The players were headed to Arizona for a training camp before they get assigned to minor league teams.
“I’ve been ready to sign and get going since I heard my name called,” said former Gonzaga RHP Gabriel Hughes, the 10th overall pick. “I’m relieved.”
La Russa can’t believe José Abreu has never won a Gold Glove.
“I need somebody to tell me who the better first baseman is in the big leagues,” La Russa said. “There are some right there with him, but there’s nobody better than José Abreu. He consistently pulls balls out of the dirt better than just about anybody I’ve seen. He’s got good feet and a good arm. Somebody’s missing the boat.”
White Sox: RHP Lance Lynn (1-3, 6.43 ERA) starts Friday night against Oakland RHP James Kaprielian (1-5, 4.74) to kick off a six-game homestand.
Rockies: RHP José Ureña (1-2, 3.13) starts Thursday night at Coors Field against Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Tyler Anderson (10-1, 2.79) to open a four-game series.
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