BREAKING:

D'backs' Corbin goes distance to beat Rockies

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Patrick Corbin joined some very select Arizona Diamondbacks company Monday night, and he did it at Coors Field, a challenging to place to pitch.

In the Diamondbacks' 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies, Corbin pitched a three-hitter for the first complete game of his career, and he improved his record to 7-0. The 23-year-old joined future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson as the only Arizona left-handers to begin a season 7-0. Johnson did it in 2000.

The club record for consecutive wins to start a season is held by Brandon Webb, who went 9-0 at the outset of the 2008 season.

Corbin set a career high with 10 strikeouts, and he issued just one walk, to the Rockies' first batter of the game.

"I didn't think he was good at all warming up in the bullpen," catcher Miguel Montero said. "He came out, the first hitter, he walked him, and then he caught a break with a line-drive double play (on a ball Dexter Fowler hit to shortstop Didi Gregorius). I think that kind of gave him that confidence back, and he struck out Carlos Gonzalez and he went from there."

Corbin got 11 outs on ground balls and threw 74 of his 97 pitches for strikes. It was the ninth straight start in which he pitched six or more innings and allowed two runs or fewer, and he lowered his ERA to 1.44.

Gregorius, who had two RBIs, Eric Chavez, who had one, and A.J. Pollock, who scored twice, each had three hits for the Diamondbacks. Arizona, which won for the fifth time in six games, has won five of its past six games against the Rockies.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Colorado.

Rockies starter Jon Garland (3-5) lost his third straight start, giving up 11 hits and five runs in six innings. He matched up with Corbin in Coors Field on April 28 and took the loss in a game the Diamondbacks won 4-2.

"He's gotten better, but he was definitely good then," Rockies second baseman Josh Rutledge said of Corbin. "I think he's one of the best lefties we've seen all year."

Corbin said he got most of his strikeouts on sliders. Nolan Arenado, who had one of the Rockies' three hits, and his teammates were left to marvel at that pitch.

"When he threw that slider, it was perfectly on the plate," Arenado said. "You never saw him throw it in front of (the plate). It was either on it or behind it. He just pitched an unbelievable game."

Making his 26th career start in his 31st game in the majors, Corbin completely overmatched the Rockies. He didn't allow a hit until Troy Tulowitzki bounced a ball up the middle for a single with two outs in the fourth. Corbin then retired 11 straight Rockies until Arenado doubled with one out in the eighth. Arenado scored on pinch hitter Jordan Pacheco's two-out double.

"The first inning, if they would've hopped on me -- I was struggling a little bit locating. I walked the first guy," Corbin said. "If you said after that first inning that I'd throw the whole game, I would never have believed it. After the first, I was able to locate everything and felt good the whole game. I was able to keep them off balance."

The Diamondbacks jumped in front in the second inning on Miguel Montero's run-scoring grounder. Paul Goldschmidt and Chavez added RBI singles in the third, and Gregorius knocked in runs with a fourth-inning double and a sixth-inning single, extending the lead to 5-0.

"Put your team down like that, it's terrible," said Garland, who has a 5.29 ERA. "I've done it my last four or five starts. Coming to the plate, we know we have to put three or four runs up to get back into it."

That's a daunting challenge against the likes of Corbin. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said the lefty had a "wash-out slider." Rockies manager Walt Weiss praised the pitch by saying, "His slider was disappearing."

"You could tell by our swings," Weiss added. "A lot of checked swings. His slider was really good tonight."

NOTES: Rockies RF Michael Cuddyer (inflamed cervical disk) was scheduled to fly to Phoenix on Monday night and will play Tuesday and Wednesday in extended spring training games. Barring any setback, Cuddyer will play for the Rockies at San Francisco on Friday when he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list. He will bat in every inning in games at Scottsdale, Ariz., and play right field and first base, likely five to seven innings. ... Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (left groin strain) plans to throw a bullpen session Tuesday. He said the groin hasn't fully recovered but is getting better. Francis was injured in the second inning of his last start May 14 at Chicago but pitched six innings on 80 pitches and allowed three hits and one run. It was just the second time in eight starts that Francis pitched six innings. ... . Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to seven games. He is hitting .397 (25-for-63) this month with six doubles, seven homers and 18 RBIs in 18 games. ... The Diamondbacks bullpen entered the series well rested, always a good thing at Coors Field. Arizona's relievers pitched just three innings in the three-game series at Miami over the weekend, and Corbin made sure they got another night off Monday.
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