Arizona Diamondbacks – strong offense bails out Miller

Yasmany Tomas (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Yasmany Tomas (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The offense of the Arizona Diamondbacks slammed three homers, including a grand slam from Yasmany Tomas

Since he arrived at Salt River fields last spring, the rap against outfielder Yasmany Tomas of the Arizona Diamondbacks was his fielding.

Poor range and slow speed tend to shadow the native Cuban everywhere. First, an experiment to try Tomas at third ended in abject failure, and now placement as a corner outfielder tends to put the defense at risk.

Yet, his hitting is another story. Throughout the current campaign, Tomas has quietly up quality numbers, and seemed to save a season’s worth of accolades for one night.

In Monday’s game, Tomas banged out four hits, including a grand-slam, and that put the Arizona Diamondbacks in the lead in the sixth. From there, the bullpen of Jake Barrett, Enrique Burgos and Daniel Hudson held the Colorado Rockies in check, and the Diamondbacks hung on for a 12-9 victory before 20,637 in Chase Field.

The win snapped a six-game Arizona losing streak, and 16 hits aided the Diamondbacks’ surge. In accumulating their double-digit hit total Monday night, the Diamondbacks recorded 10 plus hits in 12 straight games against the Rockies. They are the first National League team since the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers to record a 12-game streak of 10 more hits against a single opponent in a single season. The Dodgers accomplished their feat between May 7 and July 30.

In addition to slugging his first career grand slam in the sixth, Tomas matched a career best with four hits and recorded his third, five-RBI game this season.

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“When (Tomas) came here, I thought was he was more of a gap-to-gap hitter,” said manager Chip Hale. “I knew he had power in him, but didn’t think it would come as fast as this has.”

The homer was the 29th of the season for Tomas, and he clearly has a chance to reach into the mid-30s.

Down 9-6 in the sixth, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with two outs, and all on singles from Brandon Drury, Paul Goldschmidt and Welington Castillo. Tomas then slammed a 1-0 pitch from Rockies’ loser Jordan Lyles over the right field fence, and that put the Diamondbacks into a one-run lead.

Later in the seventh, Mitch Haniger and Drury hit homers, and the Diamondbacks forged their final three-run margin.

“When the Rockies took the lead, we knew there was a lot of game to be played,” Haniger said. “When we fell behind, the guys were re energized.”

Prior to his home run, Haniger fanned three straight times, but managed to drive a 3-1 pitch from Colorado reliever Jake McGee over the center field fence. Drury added a 4-for-5 night and scored three runs.

Early in this one, the Arizona Diamondbacks staked right-hander Shelby Miller to a rather substantial lead.

That margin was five runs. Still, the question remained, what could Miller do with such as advantage?

With a history this season of self-implosion and early exists, Miller appeared to be a prime candidate for another bout with destruction.

Alas, Miller started this one off in a complete reverse. He retired the first nine hitters faced, and entered the fourth with a 5-0 advantage. As seems to be his usual custom, Miller did not merely hit the wall, but slammed head-on in the fourth and fifth. That’s when the Rockies touched the right-hander for three runs in each inning and caught the Diamondbacks at 6-6.

While Miller’s inability to hold any kind, at this point, is probable, he vowed to continue the search for answers.

“In the first three innings, I thought the fast ball movement was good, and location was there,” Miller said. “Then, I started to leave some pitches in the middle. Right now, I just want to pitch well enough to give my team a chance to win.”

With the no-decision, Miller’s season mark remained at 2-11. By allowing six earned runs in five innings of work, Miller’s ERA is now 7.12 for 17 starts at the major league level.

On deck

The Rockies’ series continues Tuesday night, and look for a pair of lefties to face off. The Diamondbacks send Robbie Ray (7-13, 4.46 ERA) to the mound to face Jorge De La Rosa (8-7, 5.00). In the finale Wednesday night, it’s righty Rubby De La Rosa (4-5, 4.17) taking on righty Jeff Hoffman (0-3, 5.60).

In Wednesday’s game, De La Rosa is on a pitch count, and manager Chip Hale expects the righty to toss no more than 60 pitches. Right-hander Braden Shipley is scheduled to follow De La Rosa to the mound.

Next: No movement in Hale's future

The Los Angeles Dodgers then follow for a four-game series, and that begins Thursday night.