Nunez, Rockies avoid sweep, beat D-Backs for rare road win
PHOENIX (AP) — Colorado manager Bud Black has lamented his team’s inability to get big hits on the road this season.
That wasn’t the case Thursday.
Dom Nunez doubled twice and the Rockies had five extra-base hits and went 7 for 14 with runners in scoring position to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-3, avoiding a three-game sweep by the team with the worst record in the majors.
The Rockies won for just the seventh time in 40 road games this season. They’re 31-17 at Coors Field.
“We just haven’t done that enough over the course of the year, especially on the road so it was good to see some extra-base hits,” Black said. “Those have been few and far between.”
Nunez, who began the day hitting just .159, also singled, scored twice and drove in a run. Yonathan Daza had two RBIs and Ryan McMahon singled twice and scored twice.
Josh VanMeter hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks, who were trying to sweep a three-game series for the first time since April 20-22 against Cincinnati Reds.
Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-5) allowed three earned runs and six hits in five innings. He also contributed an RBI single. It was Gonzalez’s first win since May 1, a span of nine starts.
“It’s very satisfying,” Gonzalez said. “We played great ball, great defense and the hitters did their thing.”
The Rockies scored twice in the sixth off reliever Jordan Weems (0-1) for a 4-3 lead and added four runs in the seventh.
Colorado opened the inning with four straight hits against Riley Smith. Raimel Tapia and Trevor Story had back-to-back doubles and Brendan Rodgers and McMahon followed with singles.
C.J. Cron was then hit in the helmet with a 92 mph fastball. He walked to first base under his own power but was lifted for pinch-runner Jon Gray. Daza’s two-run double made it 8-3.
Black said Cron passed a concussion test following the game.
“He’s doing fine, fortunately,” Black said. “Obviously it didn’t look good from the get go. It looked like it was a direct blow but maybe he turned his head enough to make it a glancing blow. He felt pretty good. He was lucid and clear thinking.”
Arizona loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Colorado reliever Jhoulys Chachin got Josh Rojas and VanMeter to pop out and Eduardo Escobar grounded out.
The Rockies trailed 3-2 in the sixth when Cron was a hit by a pitch and moved to second on a groundout. With two outs, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo ordered an intentional walk to Nunez, who had doubled and singled in his first two at-bats.
Black pulled Gonzalez for pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon, who hit a tying single. Nunez eventually scored on a wild pitch by Weems.
“I made a decision that ended up costing us,” Lovullo said. “I saw Blackmon sitting on the bench, saw the relief pitcher barely warming up. I thought we were going to get the pitcher (Gonzalez) to hit. To me at that time it was a no-brainer, but they made the right decision and got it right. I didn’t predict that one was going to happen. That’s on me.”
Arizona starter Jake Faria gave up two earned runs and five hits in five innings.
Diamondbacks: Minor league pitcher Corbin Martin, one of four players acquired from Houston in the 2019 trade for Zack Greinke, has been shut down with forearm tightness. Martin underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2019 ... Lovullo said he’s hopeful starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner (shoulder) and Zack Gallen (hamstring) will return after the All-Star break. “How quickly after the All-Star break has yet to be determined,” Lovullo said.
Rockies: Colorado LHP Kyle Freeland (1-2, 5.50) will take the mound against San Diego’s Blake Snell (3-3, 4.99) in the opener of a three-game series.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Widener (1-0, 2.63) will come off the injured list and start against the Dodgers. Widener (groin) made his last start on May 23.
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