Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 4
PHOENIX (AP)—Luis Gonzalez is on the brink of joining some select company.
The Arizona slugger drove in the go-ahead run with his 499th career double and the Diamondbacks rallied to snap the Colorado Rockies’ four-game winning streak, 5-4 on Wednesday night.
With one more double, Gonzalez will become the 21st player in major league history to have 500 doubles and 300 career home runs.
“I’m still in awe about it,” Gonzalez said. “I look at the list and see the names on it. I have all the respect in the world for all the former major league players. Nowadays I think the art of the double is kind of gone, because everybody counts on the home run. But for me it’s an exclusive club I can be a part of.”
The victory came in front of 18,664—the smallest home crowd in the Diamondbacks’ nine-year history.
The previous record small crowd at Chase Field—formerly Bank One Ballpark — also against Colorado, was 18,776 came almost exactly one year ago—on April 11, 2005.
Brad Hawpe misjudged Gonzalez’s liner in the seventh inning and it sailed over the right fielder’s head to bring home Chad Tracy from second. Conor Jackson tried to score from first but was thrown out at the plate.
Colorado, which had won its first four road games for the first time in franchise history, took a 4-3 lead on Hawpe’s solo home run off Miguel Batista in the sixth.
However, the Diamondbacks scored twice in the seventh. Eric Byrnes and Tracy singled to put runners on first and third with one out. Jackson dribbled one toward the mound, but catcher Danny Ardoin mishandled reliever Ray King’s’ underhand throw to the plate and the score was tied.
“The play at the plate, if Ardoin gloves the ball, he’s out,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said, “so we had a hand in about everything that went sideways on us tonight.”
Gonzalez followed with the go-ahead double.
“Gonzo’s been a pretty special player here in Arizona,” manager Bob Melvin said, “the face of our team and probably the most popular sports figure in Arizona. The accolades keep piling on and they’re well-deserved.”
Jackson and Chris Snyder homered for Arizona, and Tracy went 3-for-4.
King (0-1) gave up two runs, one earned, and three hits with one walk to take the loss.
The Rockies scored a pair of unearned runs in the first. Cory Sullivan singled, then Clint Barnes bunted and reached on an error when Batista couldn’t pick up the ball. Todd Helton walked. One run scored when Garrett Atkins grounded into a double play and the other on Batista’s wild pitch.
Jackson’s first-inning homer cut Arizona’s lead to 2-1, then the Diamondbacks went up 3-2 on Snyder’s two-run shot in the second.
Colorado tied it at 3-3 on pitcher Jeff Francis’ two-out, bases loaded single in the fourth. A second runner, Matt Holliday, crossed the plate, but home plate umpire Lance Barksdale ruled that Ardoin had been thrown out at third for the final out before the second run scored.
“I’m not sure Holliday finished that play strong,” Hurdle said. “Ardoin makes a bad decision. The plays right in front of him and he makes the third out at third.”
But Holliday disputed the call, saying he touched the plate and saw the play at third.
“I turned and saw the guy (Ardoin) get out, so I don’t see how I hadn’t touched the plate when he was out,” Holliday said.
Ardoin took the blame.
“Obviously Gonzalez’s arm has recovered from last year,” he said. “I should have held up right there. It was a bad read on my part. I should have shut it down at second.”
The Rockies had runners at first and third with no outs in the fifth, but Todd Helton struck out looking and Atkins hit into another double play.
The Diamondbacks have no left-handed pitchers after placing Terry Mulholland on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his pitching elbow. … Gonzalez, who had major elbow surgery near the end of the 2004 season and certainly is not known for his arm strength, threw out Ardoin twice—once to second and once to third. It was Gonzalez’s first two-assist game since June 22, 2004.