Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 4
PHOENIX (AP)—The “elder statesman” had a big day for Arizona.
Tony Clark drove in three runs with two homers and the Diamondbacks beat Colorado 6-4 on Sunday to take two of three from the Rockies.
“We’re a talented group,” Clark said. “We’re a very young group. That being said, these guys come to the ballpark every day trying to be better than they were the day before. We’re doing our best and they’re doing their best to shorten the learning curve.”
It was the 22nd multihomer game for the 34-year-old Clark, one of many major leaguers who wore a No. 42 jersey to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s major league debut.
Clark started for the second straight game at first base, a position normally occupied by young Conor Jackson.
“He’s the elder statesman,” manager Bob Melvin said of Clark. “Tony is definitely a leader here, just as much in the clubhouse as on the field, especially on a day like this, when he’s wearing No. 42. To have a big day, I know, is a special day for him.”
Orlando Hudson, another who wore No. 42, went 2-for-3, his eighth multiple-hit game this season.
“I ain’t talking about no hitting,” the superstitious second baseman said, after pushing his average to .412.
So Clark spoke for him.
“`O’ is simply doing what `O’ is capable of doing,” Clark said. “He started off slow last year, but the remaining 70 percent of the season he had a tremendous year, and all he’s done is carry that over.”
Todd Helton hit his first home run of the season for the Rockies, a solo shot in the fourth.
The Diamondbacks jumped on Colorado’s Byung-Hyun Kim for four runs in the first inning after the Rockies had scored a pair off Doug Davis. Kim, the former Diamondback, was on the mound because scheduled starter Rodrigo Lopez was pushed back to Wednesday because of right elbow inflammation.
Arizona loaded the bases without an out on a walk to Stephen Drew and singles by Alberto Callaspo and Orlando Hudson. Two scored on sacrifice flies by Chad Tracy and Eric Brynes, then Clark hit a 2-0 pitch 420 feet onto the walkway in center field, a two-run homer that made it 4-2.
Willie Taveras’ suicide squeeze scored Troy Tulowitzki to make it 4-3 in the second inning, then Helton—who had singled in a run in the first—lined one into the left-center seats to tie it at 4.
Clark’s second homer, leading off the fourth, put Arizona ahead 5-4. Kim (1-2) left after that with a bruised right thumb. The ex-Diamondback closer pitched three-plus innings, allowing five runs on five hits. He said the thumb had been numb since he was jammed at the plate early in the game, but said he didn’t want to take himself out because Colorado was short on available pitchers.
“I have to pitch more innings. After I gave up the (last) home run, the next pitch was a ball, and then I really couldn’t hold the ball,” he said.
Arizona’s sixth run came on Scott Hairston’s two-out single in the fifth. Four Diamondbacks relievers blanked the Rockies on one hit the final four innings.
Davis (1-1), acquired in the offseason in a trade that sent catcher Johnny Estrada to Milwaukee, struggled to the victory, throwing 112 pitches in five innings, giving up four runs and nine hits. He walked four.
The Rockies completed a 3-6 road trip, losing series at San Diego, Los Angeles and Arizona. Four of the losses were by one, one by two runs and one by three runs.
“We’re not clicking on all cylinders by any means,” manager Clint Hurdle said, “but there are some good things going on, and we’re just going to have to keep after it. I think it’s good that we’ve played the volume of close games that we have. It’s got everybody’s attention.”
With 2B Kazuo Matsui placed on the 15-day DL with back spasms on Sunday, Jamey Carroll got the start. He doubled, singled and scored a run. … SS Clint Barmes was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take Matsui’s place on the roster. … Clark has 229 career home runs. … The Diamondbacks have won three straight series after losing two of three games at Colorado to start the season.