Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 3
PHOENIX (AP)—Colorado manager Clint Hurdle had been waiting for his hitters to break out.
They did it in a 6-3 victory Friday night over Arizona, handing Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb (1-1) his first loss.
“We got some hits when we needed them,” Hurdle said. “That should help everybody. They’re going to get it going.”
The hitters had some help from the bullpen, which turned in four perfect innings, starting with Jeremy Affeldt (1-0) in the sixth. Manuel Corpas and LaTroy Hawkins also contributed an inning apiece, and Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth for his second save in two chances.
“They have some good arms down there, and when you turn over a lead in a close game, you have to score off their bullpen and we didn’t,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.
The Rockies beat the Diamondbacks for the third time in four games this season. The loss dropped Arizona out of first place in the NL West, a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Eric Byrnes drove in all three Arizona runs on a single in the third inning and a two-run homer in the sixth.
The Rockies came into the game hitting .239, and with Webb on the mound, it didn’t seem like a good night for them to start hitting.
Webb retired eight of the first 10 men he faced—six on groundouts with his trademark sinker. But with two out in the third, he gave up RBI singles to Helton and Holliday. Helton had been 2-for-19 on the Rockies’ trip before the hit.
In the fifth, Helton made it 3-1 by singling to score John Mabry, who had doubled with two out. It was the 1,000th career RBI for Helton, in his 10th season.
“That’s a large number,” Helton said. “There’s no denying I’m proud to get there and happy to get some more.”
Hurdle, who had 193 RBIs in his big league career, seemed more excited than the soft-spoken Helton about the milestone.
“It’s quite an accomplishment,” Hurdle said. “He’s a great player and he’s a great hitter. To knock down that milestone has got to feel pretty special.”
Helton continued his mastery of Webb, the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner.
Helton is 15-for-42 (.357) lifetime against Webb. Only Moises Alou (.478) and Jimmy Rollins (.417) have higher batting averages among players with at least 25 plate appearances.
Asked about his numbers against Webb, Helton replied, “I’m not going to tell you what I’m looking for up there.”
Hurdle said Helton has a knack for raising his performance against the opposition’s best pitchers.
“Brandon Webb’s got a very good chance of becoming an elite pitcher, and he’s already won a Cy Young,” Hurdle said. “And Helton can find a way to get hits, and get big hits, and drive in runs against guys like that. You don’t get everybody, but he gets a lot of good ones.”
Helton isn’t the only Rockie who has had success against Webb this year. They have touched him for five runs in each of his two starts against them.
This was Webb’s first April loss in 15 starts dating back to April 17, 2004, in San Diego. On Friday night, Webb allowed five runs and eight hits with four walks in seven innings. He struck out two.
“I felt pretty good at first right up until the last inning,” Webb said. “It just seems like I couldn’t make a perfect pitch. I couldn’t make the big pitch.”
Webb’s biggest mistake came with two out in the seventh, when Hawpe doubled to score pinch-runner Jamey Carroll and Holliday, giving the Rockies a 5-3 lead.
“It wasn’t a great outing and it wasn’t horrific by any stretch, but with ‘Webby’ sometimes the standards are set a little higher after what he has accomplished,” Melvin said.
Arizona 2B Orlando Hudson’s error snapped a 45-inning errorless streak by the Diamondbacks. … Hudson, who drew a walk, has reached base in all 11 games this year. … The Rockies’ first 19 games are against NL West rivals. Their first game outside the division is April 23 at the New York Mets. …