Jon Gray pitched six innings and allowed just one run, Charlie Blackmon hammered a grand slam to put Colorado ahead 8-1 in the eighth inning and then the Rockies held on for dear life as Arizona’s rally fell just short as Colorado prevailed 8-7 on Wednesday night.
Gray looked the best he has all season as his fastball velocity was more than a mile an hour above his season average.
“To me, that’s the best stuff that Jon has had all year. I saw the velocity tick up. I saw some 95s, a bunch of 96s, I think I might have seen 97, which we haven’t seen this year. So that’s a good sign for Jon.”Rockies manager Bud Black said of Gray’s performance after the game.
With the win, the third straight one-run victory over Arizona, Colorado (16-15) moves back over .500 on the season.
Harrowing ninth inning
After Sam Hilliard homered and Blackmon added his grand slam later in the eighth inning it appeared the Rockies would cruise to the win. Going to the bottom of the eighth the Diamondbacks trailed 8-1. And after scoring just two runs in the eighth the victory still seemed well in hand.
Tyler Kinley started the ninth for Colorado and allowed a hit and walk before being replaced. Jairo Díaz came in next and did record two outs, but also allowed two hits and a walk. The most dangerous of which was a two-run single by Christian Walker that hit the left-field wall, just a foot or two shy of being a walk-off grand slam for Arizona.
At last Jeff Hoffman came on for the Rockies and struck out Nick Ahmed to end it and pick up his first major league save.
Kemp sits out in protest of racial injustice
Colorado outfielder Matt Kemp joined a number of teams and players who choose not to play on Wednesday night in protest of police shootings of Black people in America and racial injustice as a whole in our country.
Kemp announced his decision via Instagram:
All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed, as were five MLS games, three MLB games and all three WNBA games.
According to The Denver Post Rockies players had conversations in the clubhouse about postponing Wednesday’s game, but never had a formal meeting on the matter.
- Colorado and Arizona finish off their four-game series this afternoon at 4:10 p.m. (AT&T SportsNet) with lefty Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.87 ERA) starting for the Rockies against Diamondbacks righty Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.25 ERA).
- Colorado outfielder David Dahl is “getting really close” to returning from the injured list according to Black. Dahl was an All-Star last year, but was in an 0-for-17 slump before going on the IL earlier this month.
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