This wasn’t the start Arizona was looking for from its ace. But the Diamondbacks would be thrilled if they could keep up this offensive production.
With hard-throwing Dan Haren taking the mound for the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, Arizona will try to continue its slugging ways in the second game of a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies.
Arizona has won seven in a row at home versus Colorado.
With last season’s NL wins leader Brandon Webb getting tagged for six earned runs in just four innings on Monday, the unlikely duo of Tony Clark and Felipe Lopez each hit home runs from both sides of the plate in a 9-8 win over the Rockies.
They became the first teammates in Major League history to each hit home runs from both sides of the plate on opening day. It was also the first time teammates hit home runs from both sides since April 23, 2000, when Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams accomplished the feat for the New York Yankees.
“Pretty amazing,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “Pretty phenomenal.”
It was especially surprising considering Clark hit three home runs in his last two seasons combined.
“They kept throwing punches. We were fortunate to punch back,” Clark said after his first multi-homer game since hitting two in Arizona’s 7-4 win over San Diego on April 26, 2007.
But the veteran first baseman has struck out three times and is 0-of-5 lifetime against Tuesday’s starter Ubaldo Jimenez (12-12, 3.99 ERA), who was 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against Arizona last season.
Lopez made an immediate impact in his Diamondbacks debut, hitting a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the first and homering to right to open the fourth as he become the first player in team history with a multi-homer game in his Arizona debut.
“I guess I set the tone for both teams,” said Lopez, who hit six homers with Washington and St. Louis in 2008.
Starting at third, Chad Tracy was 3-of-4 with two RBIs, including the game-winning solo shot in the seventh off Jason Grilli. Mark Reynolds will likely get the start at third on Tuesday, while Justin Upton is expected to make his season debut in right field in place of Eric Byrnes.
Haren (16-8, 3.33), beginning his second season with the Diamondbacks, faces a Colorado team that hit three home runs and tallied 10 hits in the season-opener.
Haren, though, was 3-0 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts against the Rockies last year. Haren, tied for second in the NL last season with 206 strikeouts, tallied 29 versus Colorado in 2008.
Colorado right fielder Brad Hawpe was 3-of-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs on Monday, but his dominance over Webb in his career likely won’t help against Haren. Hawpe is just 3-of-15 lifetime versus the Arizona right-hander, including 2-of-12 with two doubles in 2008.
Rockies fans haven’t forgotten about All-Star Matt Holliday, who was traded to Oakland in the offseason, but starting left fielder Seth Smith had a solid 2009 debut, driving in two runs and hitting a solo homer in the seventh that made it 8-8.
Smith has two hits in seven career at-bats versus Haren.
Chris Young has four hits in nine career at-bats against Jimenez, the highest career average of any Diamondback player versus the Colorado right-hander with at least nine at-bats.