Vidal Nuno could not win Saturday despite retiring 20 consecutive batters. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
In a battle of two of the worst teams in baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks got the better of the Colorado Rockies this weekend at Chase Field. The D’backs used the strength of their starting pitching to claim two out of the three games while the starter with the most well-pitched game suffered a tough-luck defeat.
Friday night’s opener saw Josh Collmenter pitch brilliantly for 6 1/3 innings. He allowed a leadoff single in the first inning to Charlie Blackmon and then proceeded to retire the next 18 batters. Drew Stubbs bunted for a base hit with one out in the seventh and then Collmenter was inexplicably removed by manager Kirk Gibson after only 81 pitches. The Rockies managed to tie the game later in the inning thanks to a Nolan Arenado double and then take a 2-1 lead the following frame on Blackmon’s sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the eighth, the Snakes loaded the bases on three walks issued by Colorado reliever Rex Brothers. Adam Ottavino relieved Brothers and proceeded to get Mark Trumbo to hit into a force and then strike out Miguel Montero. Jake Lamb then provided one of the biggest highlights of the season by crushing an Ottavino fastball to dead center field for a grand slam. Addison Reed pitched a spotless ninth and Arizona had a 5-2 victory.
On Alumni Night Saturday, Vidal Nuno pitched a game that I am sure made Brandon Webb proud. He gave up only two hits and issued no walks over eight innings while striking out seven. It was the best outing of his career. However, a second inning solo home run by Colorado first baseman Matt McBride was all his team needed as the Rockies won the game by a score of 2-0. At one point, Nuno retired 20 hitters in a row. Blackmon added another solo shot off Matt Stites in the ninth inning to round out the scoring. The Rox’s Tyler Matzek allowed three hits and three walks over seven innings. The D’backs left multiple runners on base in the first and eighth innings. Over his last three starts, Nuno has allowed only five earned runs in 22 1/3 innings and has absolutely nothing to show for it.
Sunday’s finale had Chase Anderson pick up his eighth victory of the season by allowing one earned run in six innings as the Arizona bats finally woke up. Aaron Hill went 3 for 4, missing the cycle by a home run while new D’back Nolan Reimold smacked a two run shot as the Snakes took game three by a 6-2 margin. The club banged out 11 hits in support of Anderson whose only mistake was a fourth inning blast by Blackmon. The rookie Anderson also did not walk a batter and he struck out eight.
Arizona is now 57-79 and heads to San Diego for a four game series with the Padres. Colorado returns home for four games against the San Francisco Giants with a record of 54-82.