Rockies 20, Diamondbacks 9
DENVER (AP)—The Arizona Diamondbacks’ postseason aspirations ended in particularly rude fashion.
Ronnie Belliard homered twice and drove in a career-high eight runs, and Larry Walker hit a grand slam and had six RBIs as the Colorado Rockies eliminated the Diamondbacks from postseason contention with a 20-9 win Tuesday night.
The loss, coupled with Florida’s 5-4 win over Philadelphia, put the Diamondbacks six games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race with five games remaining.
“It’s not a good feeling,” Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. “Unfortunately, the majority of teams in baseball go through this every year. We’ve been fortunate not to have gone through it the last couple of years.
“Given the injuries and the way we’ve played at times this season, it’s really a testament to how hard the guys have played that we’ve hung in this long. A lot of teams faced with the same kind of adversity would have packed it in a long time ago. Our guys battled as best they could as long as they could.”
Center fielder Steve Finley said his team “didn’t give up all year, and we made it to the last week of the season. The frustrating thing is, if we finish five or six games out, whatever it is, that’s just one game a month we didn’t win. It makes you want to pull your hair out.”
Colorado set several records in ousting the Diamondbacks.
Belliard’s eight RBIs matched the Colorado record, shared by Andres Galarraga and Walker. The 20 runs set a team record, topping a 19-2 win over Arizona on June 18, 2000, and a 19-8 win over Atlanta on June 7, 1996. It was the most runs ever scored against Arizona.
“Everything just came together,” Belliard said. “It’s hard to have a couple days off and swing the bat like that, but I think I went with a plan. Webb’s got a good sinker. I was looking for it today. They just hung some pitches today, and every time I swung the bat I got contact.”
“Give the Rockies credit for taking advantage of their opportunities,” Brenly said. “They came up with the big hits, and we kicked the ball around a little bit.”
Walker’s grand slam and Belliard’s two-run single put the Rockies ahead 6-0 in the first.
Walker’s homer, his 15th, came after Brenly was ejected by plate umpire Derryl Cousins for arguing about Preston Wilson’s broken-bat single, which loaded the bases. It was Walker’s fifth career grand slam and first since Aug. 11, 2000, at Montreal.
The Rockies loaded the bases again on a single, walk and hit batter, and Belliard singled up the middle.
Kata’s two-run double cut the deficit to 6-2 in the fourth.
Colorado scored four unearned runs to go up 10-2 in the fourth, thanks to three errors, two by first baseman Shea Hillenbrand.
Belliard reached when Hillenbrand dropped the throw from short on a grounder. Chris Stynes then grounded to Hillenbrand, who started to throw to second, then made an underhanded toss to an unsuspecting Webb at first for another error.
Todd Helton was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Wilson’s grounder, which was booted by shortstop Alex Cintron for an error, scored a run. Walker followed with a two-run single, and the fourth run scored on Charles Johnson’s double-play grounder.
Mondesi homered in the fifth. In the Rockies’ half, Belliard hit a solo homer and Helton followed with a solo shot, his 32nd.
Colorado scored five runs in the sixth off Eddie Oropesa, capped by Belliard’s three-run homer, his seventh.
Belliard added a two-run double, his fourth hit, in the seventh.
Cintron and Hillenbrand hit back-to-back solo homers off Jason Young in theeighth.
Walker’s six RBIs gave him 826 in a Rockies uniform, matching the club record held by Dante Bichette (1993-99). … It was Belliard’s third career multihomer game. … Webb, who entered with the fourth-best ERA in the NL at 2.50, saw his ERA climb to 2.75. … Arizona’s previous high for runs allowed was 19, most recently in a 19-1 loss to Los Angeles on Sept. 2 last year. …Brenly’s ejection was his fifth of the season.