Diamondbacks cruise 9-3 as Rockies lose another pitcher
DENVER (AP) — David Peralta, Alek Thomas and Carson Kelly homered, and Merrill Kelly pitched seven strong innings Friday night to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 9-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies, who lost a starting pitcher to injury for the second straight game.
Peralta added an RBI double and Thomas a run-scoring triple for the Diamondbacks, who took advantage of Antonio Senzatela’s early exit to begin July strong after being shut out five times last month.
The difference? Perhaps it was Peralta’s painted fingernails, which were a number of colors courtesy of his 4-year-old daughter, Sophia.
“She said it was for good luck,” Peralta said, smiling. “Whatever it takes.”
Senzatela (3-5) gave up three runs and four hits in two innings as television cameras showed him trying to stretch out his shoulder when in the dugout. Ty Blach replaced him to start the third. Manager Bud Black said Senzatela had inflammation and tightness.
“It was super tight,” said Senzatela, who knew something wasn’t right with his shoulder as soon as he started warming up. “For sure I’m worried because this has never happened to me. I got scared a little bit, but they say it’s nothing bad. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.”
Senzatela said he may undergo an MRI Saturday as the Rockies struggle to keep their pitchers healthy. Germán Márquez exited in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers with a cut thumb.
Ryan McMahon’s solo homer in the seventh was the only earned run allowed by Merrill Kelly (7-5), who gave up five hits and struck out three. He walked one, giving him two in his past three starts after struggling with control problems earlier this season.
Kelly said he’s put extra emphasis on executing swing-count pitches such as 1-1, 2-2, 0-1 and 1-0.
“I have had an Achilles’ heel walking people this year,” Kelly said. “Just making sure that I’m staying aggressive and not nitpicking in those counts to make sure I stay ahead.”
After Kelly’s exit, Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon hit his 13th homer in the eighth on his 36th birthday off Sean Poppen.
Blach pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings until Peralta hit an 0-1 curveball 420 feet to right-center for his 10th homer to put Arizona up 4-1.
Carson Kelly, who hadn’t homered in his first 29 games this season, hit his second in three games. The solo shot to center off Senzatela’s 92 mph fastball — much slower than normal — made it 3-0 in the second.
Diamondbacks: Ketel Marte was the DH as manager Torey Lovullo remains cautious in his return from a hamstring injury. “This is a tricky environment here,” Lovullo said of playing at altitude. ... Lovullo is still contemplating how to replace RHP Zach Davies (shoulder) in the rotation. ... LHP Tyler Holton and OF Cooper Hummel made the trip on the taxi squad.
Rockies: Black said Márquez shouldn’t miss a start.
Closer Daniel Bard knows he could be traded if the Rockies don’t quickly turn things around.
“I do fit the profile of guys who get moved at the deadline,” he said. “Veteran guys, relievers, guys in the last year of a deal, all those things.”
Bard said Colorado has not approached him about a new contract and he’s looking forward to free agency.
“I do like it here,” Bard said. “But obviously every guy wants a chance to pick where they play.”
With an off day Thursday in Denver, Lovullo attended the parade for the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
“I didn’t want to miss it. It lets you see what a town can get like backing their boys,” he said. “It’s exciting. I saw a lot of emotion. I saw a lot of excitement from fans and I saw the players on the floats.
“But I was green with envy, I’m not going to lie to you. That’s what I’m motivated by every single day, to make something like that happen in Arizona.”
LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-5, 7.93) is looking for improvement in his second start with Arizona on Saturday night against struggling Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (3-7, 6.55). The Chicago White Sox released Keuchel after allowing 12 runs in his last two starts, and he gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings in his debut with Arizona. “I’m not presenting consistent strike pitches to the hitters, that’s why I’ve struggled this year,” Keuchel said Friday.
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