Batista matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in seven strong innings to win his first start in almost two seasons Thursday night, leading the Diamondbacks over the Colorado Rockies 12-5.
“I’m trying to fulfill the needs of the team,” Batista said. “Actually, I like winning and I like to pitch whenever I can be helpful.”
Batista (1-0) was converted into a reliever by Toronto after a Sept. 16, 2004 start against Baltimore and served as Toronto’s closer last season. He returned to being a starter when the Diamondbacks obtained him in a December trade with the Blue Jays.
“We felt coming over he’s a guy that can pitch in any role,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “But we always looked at him as a starter.”
The 35-year-old Batista, who was with Arizona from 2001-03, walked two and allowed two runs and four hits. He won for the first time as a starter since beating the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 29, 2004.
“We weren’t at our best offensively,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “Batista didn’t make it any easier on us.”
Arizona batted around in the first inning and scored three runs off Jeff Francis (0-1). DaVanon drew a bases-loaded walk and Jackson had a two-run single.
Tracy made it 4-0 with a solo homer in the second inning. Snyder hit a two-run homer off reliever Sun-Woo Kim with one out in the fifth.
DaVanon added a sacrifice fly in Arizona’s four-run sixth inning and drove in another run in the eighth as Arizona built a 12-2 lead.
Colorado scored three runs in the bottom half of the eighth off Jason Grimsley.
Francis lasted 4 1-3 innings and gave up five runs and five hits with six walks.
“Never have I had an outing where I missed by so much so often,” said Francis, who had never lost in seven previous starts against the Diamondbacks. “I couldn’t find my release point.”
: Tracy was hit by a line drive off the bat of Jackson in foul ground while leading off third base in the sixth. He remained in the game. … RHP Scott Dohmann threw without pain in a 21-pitch outing at extended spring training. … Colorado’s top two hitters finished a combined 5-for-27 in the series.