Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 4

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PHOENIX (AP)—Despite his big day at the plate, Luis Gonzalez was still focused on something that happened while he was on deck.

Gonzalez homered and drove in four runs, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Colorado Rockies 9-4 Sunday.

Gonzalez approached the Colorado bench from the on-deck circle when a pitch from Jamey Wright sailed toward Chad Tracy’s head with the Diamondbacks leading 6-0. Moments earlier, Craig Counsell had stolen his third base of the game.

“I saw something in their dugout that they thought nobody else saw,” Gonzalez said. “But I saw it and the next pitch went over Tracy’s head.”

The pitch rolled to the backstop and Counsell went to third. As he did, Gonzalez took a few steps toward the Rockies’ dugout and yelled and pointed at bench coach Jamie Quirk.

“I’ve been in 15 years and have played against some of the guys in the other dugout who are coaches now,” Gonzalez said. “This was one of those things that shouldn’t be said or done. A 6-0 lead in Coors Field or in the sixth inning isn’t safe anymore.”

No other players came onto the field and plate umpire Lance Barksdale guided Gonzalez back to the on-deck circle before warning both dugouts.

Tracy had homered off Wright in the fifth, but Wright and manager Clint Hurdle maintained there was no malicious intent.

“I was absolutely not trying to throw where I did,” Wright said. “That’s not me. The pitch that he hit the home run on in was supposed to be a cutter in but I left it right down the middle of the plate.”

Added Hurdle: “Any time the ball comes out of the pitcher’s hand and gets up around the hitter’s head, it’s going to draw attention and heighten reaction, there’s no doubt about that. That is never anything anyone wants to see.

“I think Jamie wanted to get the ball in on him and he got it up. From that standpoint, whatever happens after that, that’s where the umpires’ jurisdiction falls, so let them make their decisions and we go play.”

Arizona manager Bob Melvin, however, had little doubt about the intent.

“You’re not going to dictate how we play the game,” he said.

Gonzalez drove in Arizona’s first four runs with a two-run double and two-run homer, and Craig Counsell was 5-for-5 with three runs scored to lead the Diamondbacks, who avoided a three-game sweep.

“You count on your leadoff guy to get on and your three-hole guy to follow it up,” Melvin said. “I try to tell (Counsell) to get five hits every game but he just doesn’t listen to me for some reason.”

Tony Clark and Troy Glaus also homered for the Diamondbacks, who remained three games behind San Diego in the NL West.

Jorge Piedra homered for the Rockies, who went 4-2 on their two-city road trip against NL West opponents.

Gonzalez put the Diamondbacks ahead 2-0 in the first with a double to the center-field wall. His 16th home run in the third inning off Wright (6-12) extended Arizona’s lead to 4-0.

Tracy made it 6-0 in the fifth when he followed Counsell’s leadoff single with a homer to right field. Counsell was running on the pitch, which he felt may have helped Tracy.

“If you can make yourself a threat out there, I think you can have some impact,” Counsell said.

Claudio Vargas (5-6) dominated until tiring in the seventh. He allowed a one-out, first-inning double to Luis A. Gonzalez before retiring the next 18 Rockies.

“He’s been as good as anybody we have,” Melvin said.

Matt Holliday hit a one-out single in the seventh and Garrett Atkins walked before Piedra homered into the pool area beyond the right-center field fence to make it 6-3.

The Diamondbacks scored three more runs in the seventh off Marcos Carvajal when Clark and Glaus hit back-to-back homers and Chris Snyder added an RBI single.

Holliday pulled Colorado within 9-4 with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.

Vargas allowed only three hits in seven innings for his second win in three starts. He struck out two and walked two.

Wright allowed six runs and nine hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Notes

Counsell’s 17 stolen bases matched his career best, set last season with Milwaukee. The five-hit game was the second of his career. He also had five hits on May 26, 2002, against the Dodgers. … Despite the loss, the Rockies’ 4-2 road trip matched the sixth-best trip of two cities or more by winning percentage in club history. … Former Diamondbacks general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. was honored in a ceremony before the game and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Garagiola had been the only general manager in club history until resigning on Tuesday to become Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of baseball operation. Joe Garagiola Sr. caught the pitch.

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