Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3

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DENVER (AP)—One move was all it took. When Arizona put Jeff DaVanon in the leadoff spot Friday night and dropped Craig Counsell to eighth, it paid off immediately.

DaVanon hit a two-run homer and Counsell added two RBIs, sending the Diamondbacks to a rain-delayed 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

“I’m a genius for a day,” manager Bob Melvin said.

Brandon Medders threw two strong innings of relief to help Arizona end a three-game skid.

Batting leadoff for the eighth time this year, DaVanon hit his fourth home run.

“Jeff had shown us back in spring training that he was a good fit batting leadoff,” Melvin said. “Craig had been struggling a bit and we moved him down in the order to give him another look.”

Counsell, who was 4-for-35 in his previous nine games, drove in runs with a single and a groundout.

“Nothing changes. You are who you are as a hitter,” Counsell said. “I just had the chance to come up in a couple of less-than-two-out situations and got us a run each time.”

Medders (2-2) took over for starter Miguel Batista, who pitched the first four innings before rain stopped play for 2 hours, 39 minutes. Medders struck out three in two scoreless innings, and Jorge Julio worked the ninth for his eighth save.

An estimated 2,000 fans from the original crowd of 26,313 remained after the delay, and the stadium crew began cleaning the upper decks of Coors Field while the game was still in progress.

“I swear that is the first time I have ever seen that,” Arizona left fielder Luis Gonzalez said.

Byung-Hyun Kim (5-5) took the loss, giving up four runs—three earned—and five hits in 4 2-3 innings. Todd Helton, J.D. Closser and Kim each drove in a run for Colorado.

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Batista on Helton’s sacrifice fly.

Arizona snapped Kim’s consecutive scoreless streak at Coors Field at 14 1-3 innings with three runs in the second.

Johnny Estrada hit a leadoff double, moved up on Orlando Hudson’s deep fly to center and scored when Counsell singled through a drawn-in infield. One out later, DaVanon drove the first pitch he saw into the seats in right.

“(Kim) threw me a couple of pitches in during the first at-bat,” DaVanon said. “I moved off the plate a little and looked for the same pitch, and he threw it.”

The Rockies tied it at 3 in the bottom half when Closser drove in Brad Hawpe with his first triple of the year. Kim helped himself with an RBI single.

Arizona went ahead 4-3 in the fourth when Counsell drove in Hudson with a one-out grounder. Hudson reached third on a single and Kim’s errant pickoff attempt that got past Helton at first base.

“I don’t make any excuses,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “They were a little better than us tonight and we couldn’t score after the second.”


Diamondbacks INF Andy Green turned 29. … Kim pitched for the Diamondbacks from 1999-03 and is the franchise’s career leader in appearances (243). … Helton had reached base safely in 35 consecutive games.

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